By Emil Danielyan
A junior Armenian cleric who went missing in southern Russia three weeks ago in unknown circumstances was found dead on Sunday, the Armenian Apostolic Church announced on Monday.
A statement by the church headquarters in Echmiadzin said police in North Ossetia found the dismembered body of Deacon Zorik Abeshian on a road side near Vladikavkaz, the capital of the Russian autonomous republic. It said Abeshian disappeared on October 10 on his way to Vladikavkaz’s Armenian church of Saint Gregory the Illuminator where he was serving.
Catholicos Garegin II’s office strongly condemned the “monstrous deed” and expressed “deep grief” at the cleric’s apparently brutal murder, urging Armenians to pray for his memory.
There have been no reports on the crime from Russian sources.