Cyprus Mail

Island’s religious leaders ‘saddened’ by techno party at medieval monastery in north

monastery screen grab
A screen grab from the party at the monastery

The island’s religious leaders on Wednesday said they were deeply saddened to hear that a techno party took place at the medieval Armenian monastery of Saint Magar, in the north.

The party, according to a written statement, took place on March 20 but a video of the event was only uploaded on YouTube on Wednesday.

“The Religious Leaders of Cyprus condemn this unfortunate act and any misuse, disrespect and desecration of places of worship and cemeteries in Cyprus, irrespective of intention, religion, dogma and denomination,” the statement said.

They also reiterated their request that all places of worship and cemeteries, in use or not, are protected against vandalism, misuse and desecration.

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

The island’s five religious leaders, representing the communities living in Cyprus, Christian orthodox, Muslim, Catholics, Armenians and Maronites, have been closely working since 2010 to build a culture of peace and trust among their congregations. This effort is coordinated by the office of the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process (Rtcypp).

Rtcypp said that this live techno party was organised by an event-planning group, that apparently organises and broadcasts electronic music events at entertainment venues, including historical and cultural locations.

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 Cyprus during the 15th century and has belonged to and has been intrinsically linked to the community ever since, Rtcypp said.

“St Magar Monastery has been left uncared for since 1974 and is in dire need of immediate protection, renovations and full restoration,” it added. It is the only Armenian monastery on the island and the most important place of worship and pilgrimage for the Armenian community of Cyprus.

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