Armenian church vandalised in California
In the early morning hours of September 23, a masked assailant armed with a bat destroyed the stained-glass windows at St. Peter Armenian Apostolic Church in the greater Los Angeles area, according to a report from CBS Los Angeles.
The attack came just days before the anniversary of Azerbaijan’s invasion of Nagorno-Karabakh (Armenian: Artsakh) last year, which was supported by Turkey. Many fear that the ensuing war from last year and the taking of territory by Azerbaijan from Armenia has emboldened anti-Armenian hate crimes around the world.
This attack also falls into a pattern of increased attacks against the Armenian community in the United States. Last year, St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church in San Francisco was set ablaze when an unknown assailant lit two Molotov cocktails in the office of the church’s priest.
International Christian Concern (ICC) released a report shortly after the war depicting the religious freedom violations committed by Azerbaijan and Turkish-paid Syrian mercenaries entitled, Anatomy of Genocide: Karabakh’s Forty-Four Day War. During the war, not only did these militants commit war crimes against ethnic Armenian Christians, but they also underwent a campaign to erase the history of Christianity from the land through the destruction of churches and Christian symbols, a campaign that continues to this day.