Date: November 25, 2021
Armenia (MNN) — Armenia and Azerbaijan reported dozens of casualties and soldiers missing last week after a fresh outbreak of fighting. Russia mediated a new ceasefire.
Last year, the two countries fought a 44-day war which resulted in Azerbaijan seizing control of Armenian territory. That conflict killed over 6,000 soldiers and civilians.
Armenia, a traditionally Christian-majority country, is surrounded by Azerbaijan on one side and Turkey on the other. Turkey typically aids its Muslim-majority ally Azerbaijan against Armenia. Advanced military drones from Turkey played a decisive part in last year’s war.
Russia has traditionally been an ally of Armenia. But Mock says, “Russia seems to have been very modest in their response, spending more time negotiating a peace deal than really intervening for Armenian troops.”
The toll of constant war
Eric Mock with the Slavic Gospel Association says Armenia abandoned two military posts in the most recent fighting. “There’s not a lot of great clarity about where the border is, and Azerbaijan clearly is trying to take back more territory.”
This situation is putting a lot of stress on Armenian civilians, Mock says. SGA recently spoke to several Armenian pastors. “Some of them had served in the military and wondered if they would even survive. And by God’s grace, they did. But they talked about this deep pain and fatigue they have over always being embattled.”
“Now you add into it the poverty that they’ve had to deal with, especially in the contested regions.”
Ask God to encourage Armenian Christians. Through SGA, you can support Armenian churches as they give help and hope to their communities. Mock says, “Their need for food, medicine, and even warmth is very high. And so we’ve tried our best to continue providing for their needs as the church asks.”
You can support SGA’s Operation Winter Warmth here.
The header photo shows Armenian soldiers patrolling the border with Azerbaijan in July 2021. (Photo courtesy of ԶԻՆՈՒԺ MEDIA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)