Reverse Engineering: A State-Created Albanian Apostolic Church

CaucasianAlbanianCOVERHratch Tchilingirian (2023) “Reverse Engineering: A State-Created ‘Albanian Apostolic Church’” in Caucasian Albania. An International Handbook. Edited by Jost Gippert and Jasmine Dum-Tragut. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2023: 581-609,

Abstract: This Chapter provides a brief historical overview of Christianity in Nagorno-Karabakh in the wider context of the modern Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict and disputed territories. It then focuses on how the Azerbaijani state is constructing an “Albanian Apostolic Church” – variously called “Udi Church” or “Udi Orthodox Church” – as part of a new narrative that connects modern-day Azerbaijanis to ancient peoples, cultures and early Christianity in the Caucasus. The common features of this state-“engineered” narrative are denial of facts, erasure of evidence and reinvention of history, which goes back to Soviet times.

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