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President of the ARTSAKH REPUBLIC
Arayik V. Arutyunyan
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Speech of NKR President dedicated to the 20th anniversary of re-opening the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church


Your Holiness,
Your Eminences,
Respected clergy,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Today we nationally celebrate an event of utmost importance both for our state and people - the 20th anniversary of the reopening of the Artsakh Diocese of the One Holy Universal Apostolic Orthodox Armenian Church.
Faith has always been a firm guarantee of all our victories and confidence in the future both in the battlefield and in peaceful creative life. At crucial periods we could overcome apparently insurmountable difficulties also due to unshakable faith.
The Armenian Holy Apostolic Church has played an invaluable role in survival and development of the Armenian nation. When we lost our independent statehood the church assumed the functions of the political leadership and for centuries it was the most important and even the only pillar of preserving national identity and dignity, cohesion and freedom-striving spirit for the people under foreign yoke.
And it was very much natural that the church was the organizing force of national liberation struggle. The Artsakh Diocese has played a special role in this process. In the XVIII century when the Armenian people were experiencing liberation revival, the center of this very struggle was Gandzasar.
This was also the case in our modern struggle, during the years of the Artsakh movement. The mere fact that the first mass meetings in Stepanakert coincided with one of the most important religious holidays - Feast of the Purification is itself symbolic. God's blessing was bestowed to the people of Artsakh.
In 1930 the authorities of Azerbaijan closed all churches and monasteries. But even in this situation they kept carrying out the sacred mission of providing indissoluble link between the past and the present, inspiring hope and faith to people, keeping alive national dignity, pride and the imperative of being the master of their own destiny.
The reopening of the Artsakh Diocese became the first victory of our national struggle. From the very first day the Diocese was in the frontline of the movement encouraging the people to new victories, strengthening their spirit, imbuing them courage and energy. As a result of the diocese's reopening spiritual life in Artsakh witnesses a new tide. The diocese's primate Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan has had a great personal contribution of this process.
Dear friends,
Today we have a sovereign national statehood; our people have steadily embarked on the path of development and independently make their own future. The church together with the state continues to strengthen Artsakh, successfully performs its religious and nation preserving mission. I would like to mention with satisfaction that in Nagorno Karabagh the state-church interrelations have a solid foundation. We are working together and and join efforts to solve issues the people face.
Since the end of the war a new age of renovation old churches and building the new ones has started in Artsakh. The conciliar Church of the Intercession being built in capital Stepanakert will give a new impetus to the activities of the diocese. The cathedral will be religious, cultural and educational center.
In present conditions it is necessary further activate the work of the church especially in providing spiritual security of Artsakh. A serious attention must be paid to the activities carried out among the population particularly in remote and border settlements.
The state-church-people unshakable ties are among the pillars of our independent statehood and the authorities of Nagorno Karabagh will continue to assist the activities of the One Holy Universal Apostolic Orthodox Armenian Church and the development of the Artsakh Diocese in every possible way. I am confidant that together we will achieve new victories and achievements.
I congratulate all of us on this memorable event once again and wish everybody success and all the best.
Thank you.

 

 

Stepanakert,September 28, 2009.

 

 

2009-09-28



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