On January 5, 2021, His Grace Bishop Alexander, head of the Russian Orthodox Church in Baku was interviewed by Christianity Today Magazine.
The full interview can be read by clicking the link below:
Below, in its entirety, is the Diocesan Primate H.E. Archbishop Hovnan Derderian’s letter of reply to the false allegations of Archbishop Alexander.
January 27, 2021
Responding to your interview with Christianity Today Magazine would be considered a waste of time and effort, for it would be replying to an individual who lacks humility, knowledge of history, attempts to distort uncontestable historical facts but above all, distorts the TRUTH. Furthermore, your arrogance is quite astonishing for a shepherd of Christ, the Lord.
You speak of finding ways to live together. We certainly agree that both parties should find ways to live together. Yet when a country that committed Armenian Genocide a century ago, by killing 1.500.000 innocent Armenians rejects to accept the obvious facts, and in addition to that openly supports Azerbaijan, it is hard to find ways to live together. Moreover, when the same country leads the war operations of Azerbaijan sends its special forces, recruits thousands of radical Islamists to kill Christian Armenians, it becomes difficult to reconcile. When the leader of that country vows to “continue to fulfill this mission, which our grandfathers have carried out for centuries, in the Caucasian again.” (Recep Tayyip Erdogan – July 24, 2020), attempts at reconciliation are questioned, don’t you think?
You state that Armenians have hate toward Azerbaijan. When an Azerbaijani army officer axes a sleeping Armenian army officer to death and is later pardoned by the President of Azerbaijan, freed from his sentence, and was granted the status of “Hero” of Azerbaijan by the same president, I ask you the definition of hate. On May 26, 2020, the European Court of Human Rights said it "found that there had been no justification for the Azerbaijani authorities' failure to enforce the punishment of Ramil Safarov and to in effect grant him impunity for a serious hate crime." Isn’t hate in its purest form the deliberate circulation of videos on social media of Azeri soldiers assassinating, skinning and beheading Armenian prisoners of war amidst celebration?
You contest that “Azerbaijan has a high level of multicultural acceptance and preserves its religious monuments. The Armenian churches and libraries in Baku are kept safe.” How can you state such a thoughtless claim when there is video evidence of purposeful destruction of Armenian cross stones in Nakhijevan, carried out systematically to permanently erase all traces of Armenian heritage from the region?
You speak about the Catholicos of All Armenians not doing enough to make peace. Let me remind you that in 2010, His Holiness Karekin I travelled to Azerbaijan, met with Allahshukur Pashazade and President Ilham Aliyev for peace talks in Baku.
Replying to your interview responses are futile indeed, for the lack of respect for history and the truth is quite evident.
Archbishop Hovnan Derderian