DESTRUCTION ALERT: St. John the Baptist church, Shusha/Shushi

Between December 28, 2023 and April 4, 2024, St. John the Baptist church (S. Hovhannes Mkrtich), a 177 year old landmark in Shusha was destroyed, Azerbaijan’s most egregious violation yet of a December 2021 ICJ order.

Built by Armenians in 1847, the church, a.k.a. Kanach Zham (green chapel), was damaged amidst the 2020 war. In the aftermath of the war, the Baku diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church laid claim to the building and pledged restoration. Nevertheless, the church is now gone.

At the entrance to the belfry, building inscriptions in Armenian read: “St. Hovhannes Mkrtich Church was built by Shusha townsman baron Hovhannes and Baba Stepanyan Hovnanents in memory of their deceased brother Mkrtich in the year of 1847.”

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