Moscow, November 20, 2020
The monastery's abbot Father Hovhannes walks past a military vehicle of the Russian peacekeeping forces at the Dadivank, an Armenian Apostolic Church monastery, located in a territory which is soon to be turned over to Azerbaijan under a peace deal that followed the fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, in the Kalbajar district on Sunday. (Reuters/Stringer)
Catholicos Karekin II of All Armenians sent a letter to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia earlier this week to thank him for his role in protecting an ancient Armenian monastery in the conflict with Azerbaijan.
“It was very comforting to receive the news from you last night that a post of Russian peacekeepers has been established at the Armenian Dadivank Monastery in Artsakh,” writes the Armenian primate in his letter dated November 16.
Responding to a request from Catholicos Karekin, Pat. Kirill petitioned the Russian authorities to send members of the peacekeeping contingent to help ensure the security of the 12th-century monastery in this difficult time, reports the site of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The Russian Church has been involved in attempts to find peace in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for three decades. Meetings of the Russian Patriarch, the Chairman of the Caucasus Muslim Board, and the Catholicos of Armenia were held on several occasions, contributing to the cessation of armed conflicts.
Russian peacekeepers arrived on Sunday to guard the Dadivank Monasery, which is in the territory ceded to Azerbaijan as part of the Russian-brokered peace deal that ended 6 weeks of fighting between ethnic Armenian forces and Azeri troops over Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas.
“You are well aware of the history of this centuries-old monastery and its importance in the life of Artsakh. For our people, mourning the loss of their relatives and friends, the destruction of cities and villages by military fighting, and the transfer of more than 100 holy places—chapels and churches—to Azerbaijan, your intercession is an invaluable contribution to the strengthening of the faith of the Armenian people and their spirit of hope for the future,” writes Catholicos Karekin.
The Armenian primate also assured the Russian primate that the Armenian people would constantly pray for him at the monastery.