Religious leaders condemn techno party at Armenian monastery

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Cyprus religious leaders condemned using the grounds of an Armenian Monastery for a live techno party uploaded on YouTube on Wednesday.

The Sourp Magar Monastery is located in the Pentadaktylos mountain range in occupied north Cyprus.

In a joint statement, the Religious Leaders of Cyprus condemned “this unfortunate act, misuse, disrespect and desecration of places of worship and cemeteries in Cyprus, irrespective of intention, religion, dogma and denomination”.

The Religious Leaders reiterate their request that all places of worship and cemeteries are protected against vandalism, misuse and desecration.

“Disrespecting places of worship and cemeteries creates pain, nurtures mistrust and becomes an obstacle to peaceful coexistence”, the statement said.

An event-planning group organised the live techno party that broadcasts electronic music events at entertainment venues, including historical and cultural locations.

The event was recorded and uploaded on YouTube on 7 April.

Sourp Magar is an 11th-century Monastery founded by the Coptic Orthodox Church in memory of Saint Makarios, the hermit of Alexandria.

The monastery was transferred to the Armenian Community in the 15th century and intrinsically linked to it ever since.

St Magar Monastery has been left uncared for since 1974 and is in dire need of immediate protection, renovations and complete restoration.

It is the most important place of worship and pilgrimage and the only Armenian monastery in Cyprus.

The US Embassy also “strongly condemned” the misuse of Saint Magar Armenian Monastery.

“Freedom of worship is a fundamental value, and we echo the call from religious leaders that all places of worship, in use or not, be protected against misuse, vandalism, and desecration,” US ambassador Judith Garber tweeted.