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Time to Gather Church Stones2009-11-25 16:05
Yesterday Armenia held a protest action against the attitude of the Georgian authorities to Armenian cultural heritage. The reason was the collapse of a wall of one of the most ancient Armenian churches in Tbilisi. It was one of the five items that the Armenian Apostolic Church tried to return, though unsuccessfully. The Georgian authorities promised to restore the church, but were not ready to solve the issue of the appurtenance of the contested churches.
Georgian rains did a lot of harm to agriculture and to residential buildings. And it was them to carry to the surface the old problem of the Armenian churches appurtenance. The Georgian Orthodox Church claims most of them.
Before the Armenian Apostolic Church owned about thirty religious buildings. Today it owns just two of them.
The mid-14th-century church «St. Gevork» (Surb Gevork) belonged to the contested buildings and was not repaired for many years. In Soviet times there was an ethnographic museum there, then a repository. In 1990 it was finally closed as a dangerous structure.
The November showers made a wall and part of the dome crush down. Were it not for the long dispute between the two neighbouring Christian patriarchies, the historic landmark in Abo Street of Tbilisi would have been reinforced in time.
So Armenians suspected the Georgian authorities of intentional destruction of Armenian monuments. The Supreme Holy Council of the Armenian Apostolic Church presided over by the Catholicos of all Armenians Garegin II laid the responsibility for the leaders of the country and of the Georgian Orthodox Church. And the «Erkir» association declared that it was the criminal omission and discrimination politics of the Georgian leaders towards national minorities to cause the destruction of the cultural and historical monuments.
Armenian's indignation erupted into a protest action held today near the Georgian embassy in Erevan.
Over 500 people gathered to hand over the letter to the Georgian ambassador Gocha Targamadze. They marched under such slogans as «No cultural genocide» and «Georgians are not Christians».
Then the marchers went to the UN representative office in Erevan to inform the world public on the current religious freedom situation in Georgia, reports PanARMENIAN.Net.