Acts and measures undertaken to destroy the culture of a nation or an ethnic group is called ‘cultural genocide’. The word ‘Genocide’ coined by Raphael Lemkin, does not only refer to the physical extermination of a national or religious group, but also its spiritual and cultural destruction. The concept of ‘national and cultural genocide’ has not yet been included in the 1948 UN Convention on the prevention and punishment of the crime of Genocide.
Many facts prove that simultaneous with the massacres and deportation of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, the government of the Young Turks masterminded and implemented systematic destruction of the material testimonies of the Armenian civilization. Realizing the role of the church and Christian faith within the Armenian nation, the Turkish government purposefully massacred Armenian clergymen, destroyed churches, monasteries and other properties of church, including thousands of medieval handwritten manuscripts.