APPEAL of the leaders of the religious denominations in Azerbaijan to the World's Religious Leaders, Parliaments, International Organizations.

In the Name of the One Creator!
Expressing the will of the citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan and millions of Azerbaijanis around the world, on the eve of March 31 - the Day of the Genocide of Azerbaijanis, we bring our appeal to the attention of the World Community, Religious Leaders, Parliaments and International Organizations.
      The truth reflected in all the Holy Scriptures is that killing even one person created by the Almighty, is as grave crime as killing all Humankind, and keeping one human being alive is as rewarding as keeping alive all Humankind. The facts of Genocide because of the ethnic, racial or religious identity, committed along the History of the World, left the "dark marks" on the bloodstained memory of Mankind and considered as the greatest and most unforgivable sins against humanity. Azerbaijani people is one of those nations exposed to the tragic crimes of Genocide, and the World Community must know the historical essence of those terrible events and give them a fair assessment.
Steps taken by Armenians deliberately settled in the Caucasus since the beginning of the XIX century in the Caucasus since the early 19th century to displace Azerbaijanis from their ancient lands guided by a contrived dream of the "Great Armenia" resulted in massacres and genocides against Azerbaijanis and other peoples historically resident in these territories. Due to the consistent policy of aggression and ethnic cleansing, acts of terror and vandalism of Armenian nationalists against our people for more than two centuries, Azerbaijanis were exiled from their native homelands on the territory of the present-day Armenia. Territorial claims of Armenian extremists against Azerbaijan continue to this day.
İt is historical facts that in 1905 and 1918, Armenian extremists committed massacres against Azerbaijanis in Baku and other provinces, tens of thousands of civilians were killed, settlements, historical and cultural monuments, mosques, churches and synagogues were destroyed. As a result of the March genocide alone, which was committed by Armenian Dashnak armed groups between March 30 and April 3, 1918 in Baku and various regions of Azerbaijan, such as Shamakhi, Guba, Derbent, Khachmaz, Lankaran, Hajigabul, Salyan, Gazakh, Zangazur, Karabakh, Nakhchivan and other, tens of thousands of people were brutally killed because of their national and religious affiliation. During the events of March 1918, just in 3 days, more than 12,000 Azerbaijanis were exposed to genocide in Baku; historic mosques and temples of the city were invaded; 8,027 people in 53 villages of Shamakhi province and 8,000 were brutally killed in Shamakhi city; the Cathedral Mosque in the center of Shamakhi was set on fire, and women and children who were forcibly collected inside it, were burnt alive, while 2,000 people were killed in Lankaran province;
The genocide committed by Armenians in 1918-1920 against Azerbaijani population in Zangazur county and Irevan province on the territory of the present-day Armenia, in the Azerbaijani provinces of Iran and in Georgia, against the Jewish population in Guba and Derbent, is reflected in the historical documents as well. Thus, 10,068 Azerbaijanis were killed in Zangazur county; 211 Azerbaijani villages were destroyed and their population was exposed to genocide in Irevan province; more than 120,000 Azerbaijanis were killed in Urmia, Maku, Tabriz, Khoy and Salmas; about 5,000 Azerbaijanis were killed in the Azerbaijani-populated Borchali county and in the Azerbaijani-populated historical quarters of Tbilisi in Georgia; more than 16,000 Azerbaijanis were killed in Guba county and in Derbent, 162 villages were destroyed, and about 3,000 Jews were brutally killed.
             For historical reference, traces of the policy of massacre of Armenian extremists in the early 20th century existed in the Central Asia and Turkestan. It is known from the historical sources that in 1918-1922, the Armenians killed more than 35,000 Uzbek Muslims in the Fergana Valley of Uzbekistan; the city of Kokand was burned by Armenian Dashnaks; more than 10,000 people were killed there in a single day, and approximately 5,000 people were killed in Andijan, while all the residents of Suzak and Bazar-Korgon villages in Kyrgyzstan were shot down by gun fire.
       The policy of genocide and deportation of Azerbaijanis by Armenians was continued during the Soviet period. In 1948-1953, hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis were deported from their ancestral homes in Zangazur, and in 1988-1990 - from other parts of Armenia, thus, the Republic of Armenia, established in the ancient territories of Azerbaijan, became in fact a mono-ethnic state.
        In the late 80s and early 90s of the past century, Armenia, pursuing the policy of aggression, occupied 20 percent of our world-recognized territories of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions - as a result of large-scale military operations, and displaced more than a million Azerbaijanis from their home lands. The acts of genocide committed by the Armenian armed forces in Khojaly, Aghdaban and Dashalty in 1992 are disgusting examples of their atrocities. At the nighttime of February 25-26, 1992, forces of the Armenian army launched a sudden armed attack on the city of Khojaly, committing a brutal massacre of the unarmed civilian population, killing 613 people, including the elderly, children and pregnant women; 150 people went missing, 1,275 people captured and severely tortured. The Khojaly tragedy is on a par with such examples of the crimes against humanity, as Holocaust, Guernica, Katyn, Srebrenica and Rwanda, and should be recognized as genocide by the world.
Committing acts of vandalism in the occupied Azerbaijani lands, the Armenian army destroyed and insulted thousands of our historical, religious, cultural monuments, shrines and cemeteries, Islamic, Christian and Jewish temples. Deliberately trying to erase the ancient Albanian, Muslim, Orthodox religious and cultural heritage, historically existed in Karabakh, they either destroyed our cultural and spiritual heritage, or armenianized and gregorianized it, through falsification of its history and origin. In Karabakh alone, 64 out of our 67 operating mosques razed to the ground during the Armenian occupation. Meanwhile, the Armenian Church and library in the center of Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, have been preserved for all these years, and tens of thousands of our citizens of Armenian origin live in peace in our country.
In July-September 2020, the Armenian armed forces launched new military provocations on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border and in the Karabakh territories of Azerbaijan, then on September 27 launched a large-scale military aggression and attempted to expand the occupied territories, bombarding civilians and civilian infrastructure by heavy artillery. In response, the people of Azerbaijan united around the President of Azerbaijan - Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev and stood up for fight and liberated its homelands from occupation by the force of our Army during the 44-day Patriotic War. Thus, it complied with the requirements of the International Law and the UN Security Council Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884, and restored its territorial integrity.
We, the leaders of religious communities living in peace and tranquility for centuries in Azerbaijan, support the establishment of mutual understanding between all peoples in the South Caucasus, regardless of religion or nationality, as our Almighty Creator commands us in the Holy Scripts. The political line of the Azerbaijani state is to put an end to such tendencies as war, territorial claims, hatred, religious and ethnic discrimination, and revanchism, to maintain stability between the states, and make efforts for sustainable economic development. The political will of the President of Azerbaijan proclaims that all peoples in in Azerbaijan and the entire region, including Azerbaijani citizens of Armenian identity, must live together in good neighborliness and enjoy equal rights.
All religious communities in our region, and especially the Armenian Apostolic Church, have to work actively in this direction, promote not war, but peace and dialogue, and advocate peaceful and humanist ideas. Unfortunately, Armenian clerics support the aggression against neighboring nations; mobilize the worldwide Armenian diaspora and lobby, trying to justify the revanchist, radical, xenophobic and fascist actions of Armenian terrorists and extremists. In order to veil their aggressive intentions and claims to foreign lands, they present themselves to the world as oppressed victims, building their propaganda on religious bigotry. The Armenian Church, which propagates war, while keeping a cross in one hand and a weapon in the other, and incites its people to a war of conquest and inter-religious clashes, must finally realize its responsibility.
    We, the religious leaders of Azerbaijan, appeal to the World Religious Leaders, Parliaments, International Organizations, to give a political and legal assessment to the massacres committed by Armenian extremists against the Azerbaijani people in our Motherland Azerbaijan, and to recognize the events as planned acts of genocide against a whole nation.
    May the Almighty Creator help us all to discern the truth from lies and to be just! AMEN!

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