Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   17 October

Ateshian visits looted and destroyed St. Kirakos Church in Diyarbekir

YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 21, ARMENPRESS. Aram Archbishop Ateshian who recently stepped down as the General Vicar of the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul, visited St. Kirakos Armenian Church in Diyarbekir looted and destroyed as a result of the military operations by Turkish armed forces, ARMENPRESS reports “Agos” periodical informs.

There are currently holes in the walls of the church, broken windows.

After touring inside the church, Ateshian made an announcement, reading as follows, “The places for raising prayers to the God in this region, churches and mosques, are in ruins. He who stands behind this cannot be regarded as a human being. Everything is in ruins. He who did it cannot be a creature of the God”.

Archbishop Ateshian has called on relevant state bodies to immediately take measures to start the reconstruction of the church.

The St. Kirakos Church of Diyarbekir, the largest Christian church in the Middle East, celebrated the first church ceremony after a 32-year-break on November 4, 2012. The same day the church hosted a wedding, reports Armenpress. 

The renovation of the 14th-century church has been carried out with the assistance of Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople. Diyarbakir Municipality also financed the initiative.

The church’s belfry damaged in 1915 shelling has been rebuilt. The church’s dome was ruined because it erected higher than the surrounding mosques and minarets. Even though the church has been operating since 1980, its bells rang only after a 97-year-break on November 4, 2012.

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