Dictatorial paranoia Azerbaijan | 14 May 2024

Azerbaijan: Christian population has plummeted

Show: false / Country: Azerbaijan /

On 24 April 2024, RFE/RL published a report on developments in Nagorno-Karabakh that are quite significant: 


Images released recently by the monitoring group Caucasus Heritage Watch indicate that the Susa/Shushi church, which was wrapped in scaffolding through much of its time under Azerbaijani control, was demolished in the winter of 2023-24. Azerbaijan retook control of Susa/Shushi from ethnic Armenian forces in November 2020 after launching a war to retake territory internationally recognized as Azerbaijani land. Two kilometres south of the erased church, satellite images released in April reveal that an entire village appears to have been razed to the ground. Today a large mosque is under construction in the broken soil where a settlement once stood, which was known in Armenian as Karintak and as Dasalti in Azeri.


World Watch Research (WWR) analyst Rolf Zeegers points to the fact that almost all ethnic Armenians (more than 100,000 people) fled the region when Azerbaijan launched its military attack in September 2023 and states: “It is clear that Azerbaijan does not want these people to come back. It is demolishing deserted villages and rebuilding settlements with new houses (and mosques) so that Azeris can take up residence in the region. Nagorno-Karabakh will remain Azerbaijani. Armenia is too weak to challenge these developments.”


Rolf Zeegers continues: “The departure of the Armenian Christians has a huge impact on the number of Christians in Azerbaijan: According to the World Christian Database (accessed March 2023), the Christian population in Azerbaijan numbered 248,000 Christians (see: WWR, Full Country Dossier – Azerbaijan, February 2024, p.5). Now that the Armenians in Karabakh have fled, less than 148,000 are left. This means the authorities in Azerbaijan can more easily control Christian activities.”


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