A ceremony to commemorate Khojaly victims was held at the Aghoghlan monastery, an ancient Albanian temple in the Lachin region, on February 24, according to APA’s correspondent in Lachin. Members of the Albanian-udi Christian community, representatives of foreign and local media attend the ceremony.
First, community chairman Robert Mobili lit a candle in the church for the victims of Khojaly. Then R. Mobili and the deputy chairman of the community Rafik Danakari, as well as members of the Albanian-udi Christian community prayed for the souls of the martyrs and victims of Khojaly.
Speaking to reporters, R. Mobili said that today they are witnessing justice: “It is the justice which has been restored by Glorious Azerbaijani Army under the leadership of President of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani soldiers not only liberated territories but also religious temples from occupation. Long live Azerbaijan, long live our Army, long live our President.”Speaking about the importance of the Aghoghlan temple, R.Mobili emphasized that there are a lot of Albanian churches in Lachin: "And Aghoghlan temple is a pearl of Lachin and Karabagh. Finally, we have restored the historical truth.”
R. Mobili has noted that today is also significant for the Alban-udi Christian community: “Today we have also witnessed Armenian falsification in the church. We saw many Armenian crosses on the stone. There should not be so many elements and symbols in the church. This place is native to every member of the community, every Azerbaijani who comes here. I'm excited. This is my first visit to the Lachin region, I visit an ancient Albanian church built in the 6th century. Armenians have also falsified this church. Finally, historical justice has been restored and we came and prayed in the temple. We bow before our martyrs. We bow before the victims of Khojaly victims. Khojaly genocide will be never deleted from memory. Today, these are our first steps here. I believe that temples, churches will be restored in the liberated territories from the occupation in the future”.
Note that the “Aghoghlan” monastery (or Sisernavang) is a basilica of the 5th-6th centuries located on the banks of the Agoghlan River, near the town of Lachin, in the village of Kosalar. According to myth, the monastery complex has been built on the site of an older polytheistic temple. According to the Christian belief, the relic of Saint George has been kept in the monastery. The name of monastery in the Azerbaijani language literature – “Agoghlan” monastery is related to the name of a little mountain river passing near the monument.
Professor, Doctor of Architecture, Gulchohra Mammadova notes in her studies that In 1613, the walls of the fortress surrounding the monastery have been strengthened and the main arched entrance gate has been built. The inscription reflecting the information regarding this has been disapproved between 1989-1992 years, in a period which Lachin region was under the control of Azerbaijan. The main church building and bell tower have been repaired in 1779. Church inscription reflecting information regarding this has also been disapproved in 1967.
During the 28-year occupation of Lachin region, Armenians tried to appropriate this monastery. Stone inscriptions depicting the historical and religious monument allegedly belonging to Armenians have been placed on the walls of the monastery. In fact, the area which the church places, has always been the homeland of Oghuz and Kipchak Turks throughout history. The date of construction of the monastery also overturns their claims. Armenians have destroyed candlesticks set up in the monastery and some historical materials while leaving the area.