Heydar Aliyev Foundation Renovates Caucasian Albanian Church of the Holy Virgin Mary
The Caucasian Albanian Church of the Holy Virgin Mary, located in the Nij village of the Gabala district of Azerbaijan, has been renovated by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, according to Trend News, reported by ‘Azerbaijan in Focus’. The church was reopened on November 7 and formally transferred to the Albanian–Udi Christian Religious Community.
In an interview, Robert Mobili, Chairman of the Albanian–Udi Christian Religious Community, reflected that the reconstruction of the Albanian Church of the Holy Virgin Mary in Nij by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation was a historic day. He explained that the restoration of this historical heritage testified to the importance attached by the state to the upholding of multiculturalism.
Mr Mobili stated: “The video footage distributed by the Armenian armed forces has demonstrated that Armenian religious leaders have taken up arms to fight against us.
I was horrified when I saw that Armenian priests are blessed in the church and sent to war. Is there such an approach in the Christian religion – to call people to war? There is not such an approach in Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.
“One of the Ten Commandments in Christianity states ‘Thou shalt not kill!’ However, we see Armenian religious leaders are doing the opposite. However, in Azerbaijan, representatives of different peoples and cultures live in peace together. Today, the Udis are the heirs of the Caucasian Albanian Church and have preserved Christianity in the country.”
He expanded: “The Armenians altered Caucasian Albanian churches in the occupied territories in accordance with Armenian style. Today, we see that the Armenians who occupy the Azerbaijani region of Nagorno-Karabakh region and the seven surrounding regions are destroying Islamic temples, monuments and historic sites, and changing the architectural style, whilst in Azerbaijan these churches are being restored.” On behalf of the community, Mr Mobili thanked the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and its leadership for the renovation of the Albanian Church of the Holy Virgin Mary.
In the Gabala district, as with the whole of Azerbaijan, a system of multicultural values has been observed throughout history – focusing on the three main religions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam – although there are numerous religious and ethnic minorities. About 4,000 of the estimated 10,000 Udis in the world live in the Nij village.
The restoration and reconstruction of Azerbaijani historical and religious monuments, including mosques, churches and synagogues, together with the construction of new prayer houses, are an integral element of Azerbaijani policy. The Heydar Aliyev Foundation is directly involved in the implementation of this policy.