Armenian Church on fire16.01.2012 | 12:32
A conflagration occurred in the Georgian capital the other day. For unknown reasons, Armenian monastery Surb Nshan burned up. The fire team's "efforts" resulted that part of the temple collapsed. North-east column of the building, which is an architectural landmark, is unlikely to be restored. This is not the first time when an Armenian shrine, located on Georgian territory, suffered.
Javakhk Diaspora of Russia cannot easily treat the fact that due to an oversight and negligence, sacred values of the Armenian people disappear from the face of the Earth. GTimes' edition received diaspora's appeal to Georgian authorities.
"According to reliable sources, in late XIX century, 29 Armenian churches operated in Tbilisi, two of which remain till today. Eight Armenian churches were actually captured and transformed into the Georgians. Local frescos, khachkars (tomb-stones), the inscription and others typical Armenian elements were destroyed.
At present, the Georgian Diocese of Armenian Apostolic Church demands to return the five churches in Tbilisi and one church in the province of Samtskhe-Javakheti, historical Armenian origin of which the Georgian side is deliberately questioning, to fully meet the spiritual needs of their community.
One of these five churches is in the center of Tbilisi. That is Armenian church Surb Nshan (Holy Signs), construction of which was initiated by Amir Bebutyan and his son Aslamaz in 1701.
In 2002, the Armenian Church of Surb Nshan "accidentally" caught fire during the night. That time the authorities did not even try to find out the cause of the fire. And now it has burned up again. This time they've made a Christmas "gift" to the Armenians, which occurred on the night of January 9, and during extinguishing the fire the north-eastern side of the building completely collapsed. Further soil subsidence is guaranteed.
Like the others "disputed" Armenian Churches in Georgia, the abandoned and almost closed Surb Nshan is still standing, gazing at the indifference and meanness of people, who had just recently assured the Armenian side that the Armenian churches, crashed and threatening to the collapse, will be treated properly.
Unfortunatly, under the current Georgian revival, these "disputed" churches still are in poor state, one might even say - undignified and obscene. In such a Christian and God-beloved country they consider this phenomenon truly deplorable.
Based on the above, we demand:
- To institute proceedings, to find those responsible, with a corresponding demand to recover damages;
- Executing the duties to protect the rights of national minorities, taken by Georgia before the Council of Europe and the world community, as well as under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to transfer the church Surb Nshan into Georgian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church property.
We, Javakhk Diaspora in Russia, declare that after the Armenian Church of Surb Nshan in Tbilisi will be legally transferred to the ownership of the Georgian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, our organization will assume all costs for the restoration of Armenian shrine.
It should be recalled and noted that walls of the Church of Surb Nshan keep the inscription, which states that the church was built during the reign of King Heraclius, who is known to be a great democrat along with David the Builder; there was no word for this phenomena, but democracy existed, in a sense. The latter literally resurrected Georgia in all senses thanks to his policy and actions, for which he received the title from the people, which translates from the Georgian as "Reviver".
Is it possible to restore the church of Surb Nshan and will the Armenians win their right for faith? Read about it next week on GTimes.