Azeri attack on Armenian cathedral revives memories of genocide

Azerbaijan's shelling a historic cathedral in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, where over three weeks of heavy fighting has killed hundreds of people, revives memories of Armenian Genocide,  Raffi K. Hovannisian, Yerevan's first foreign minister, said on Wednesday.

The Holy Savior Cathedral, also known as the Ghazanchetsots Cathedral, had its dome pierced by a shell that also damaged the interior on Oct. 9.

"Yet for us Armenians, an attack like the one on the Holy Savior Cathedral isn’t just a matter of urgent current affairs. No, the swirling dust kicked up by violence against a Christian house of worship can take back even the most modern-minded Armenian more than a century — to the year 1915," Hovannisian said in an article for the New York Post.

The Armenian genocide refers to the killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923.

Turkey accepts that many Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were killed in clashes with Ottoman forces during World War One, but contests the figures and denies that the killings were systematically orchestrated and constitute a genocide.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Oct. 7 that the actions of Turkey and Azerbaijan amounted to a “terroristic attack” over Nagorno-Karabakh that formed part of the continuation of the Armenian genocide.

"A church being bombed is an instantaneous narration of a 100-year history, clearing away a century’s worth of obfuscation and denial to reveal a quite apparent truth: Christians are in peril again. And genocide has once again besieged the black garden," Hovannisian said.