On 13 June Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism (the BICM) hosted a roundtable on “The Churches of the Caucasus”. The Acting Executive Director of the BICM Ravan Hasanov gave information on the theme of the event held in the frames of the project “We Study the Caucasian Albania”. He stated that the project of Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism “We Study the Caucasian Albania” is implemented to present to a wide audience the national scholars’ findings on the material-cultural legacy, history, geography and population of the Caucasian Albania which belongs to the ancient and medieval periods of Azerbaijani history. Roundtables, lectures, presentations and meetings are regularly held in the frames of the project. The present event is also being held within that project. He mentioned that the world scholars’ visits to our country and their study of such themes are of great importance for us.

Further, the Rector of the University of Theology Jeyhun Mammadov underlined the importance of the event and timeliness of its theme. He focused the attention to the sensitive approach of the government of Azerbaijan to such issues and the special importance it attaches to them. Time and then the Armenians would claim to be the Albans’ historical followers. Besides, during the studies we found out such kind of claims by the Georgians as well. Following the complete investigation of the issues, it turned out that the Caucasian Albans are Azerbaijanis. We should treat this issue very attentively and sensitively. Whenever we treated some historical period inattentively, the Armenians made use of the chance for their own good. The gradual destruction of the monuments belonging to the Caucasian Albania, the lack of necessary attention to all this enable the Armenians to hold various events dedicated to the issue. To justify their acts of invasion the Armenian nationalists, who bring forward unfounded territorial claims against Azerbaijan, declared all the churches, temples and monasteries of the Caucasian Albania as the Armenian monuments. Thus, to prevent such actions, we should continue our investigations and intensify our advocacy in this line.

The other speakers of the event presented the following themes: the Corresponding member of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, Doctor of Historical Sciences Farida Mammadova – “The Eparchies of the Alban Apostolic Church and The Eparchies of the Armenian Church”, the Senior researcher of the Ethno-archeology Department of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan Ulviyya Hajiyeva – “The Holy Relics and Cults of the Alban Apostolic Church”, the Leading research fellow of the Department of the History and Theory of City-building and Architecture of the Institute of Architecture and Art of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, PhD in Architecture Rizvan Garabaghli – “The Circular Temples of the Caucasian Albania”, the Leading research fellow of the Ethno-archeology Department of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, Doctor of Historical Sciences Mahabbat Pashayeva – “The First Christian Missioners’ Activities in Albania”, the Chair of the Alban Udi Christian Religious Community Robert Mobili “The Alban Apostolic Church: History and Contemporaneity”.

It was stated that the investigation of the history of the Caucasian Albania should be carried out most by the Azerbaijanis. Special attention should be attached to this field which should also be treated with responsibility. The speakers gave profound information on the various churches of the Caucasia, the historical-cultural ambiance, sources, stages of development, architectural types of the temples, Etc. It was pointed out that our nation’s cultural heritage is an indivisible part of the universal culture, the protection of the historical and cultural monuments maintained as keepsakes of our nation’s centuries-long history on the territory of Azerbaijan is an issue of international importance.