On August 19, the consecration and opening ceremony of the first Armenian khachkar in Finland took place at St. Herman Church of Alaska in Espoo, the second most populous city of Finland. The erection of cross-stone was initiated by the Armenia-Finland union. The khachkar was created by Armenia-based sculptor Hovhannes Stepanyan.
Hayarpi Drmeyan, representative of the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia, delivered remarks at the event. She stressed the importance of unveiling the khachkar dedicated to the Armenian-Finnish friendship and noted that henceforth it will become a unique symbol of the presence of the Armenian community in Finland. Underlining that this cross-stone is a replica of one of the khachkars destroyed by Azerbaijan in Old Jugha (Nakhichevan), she spoke of the risk of destruction of the Armenian heritage in Nagorno-Karabagh, if the international community does not react decisively to relieve the plight of the Armenian people living in continued blockade there.
Mr Daniel Davtyan, the President of the Armenia-Finland Union, Finland’s Ambassador Kirsti Narinen, Leo Makkonen, Archbishop of Helsinki and all Finland, Father Petri Korhonen of St. Herman Church, also delivered remarks at the event.
Bishop Tiran Petrosyan, Pontifical Legate of Central Europe and Sweden of the Armenian Apostolic Church, consecrated the khachkar.
After the ceremony, the Armenian-Finnish “Luys” (Valo) choir performed national Armenian songs.