As Armenia braces for possible further aggression against its border, the Armenian Church has sought moral support from international Christian ecumenical groups.
The Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin is currently featuring on its media platforms a statement from the World Council of Churches, calling for an “urgent de-escalation” of the crisis. “The WCC is deeply concerned by reports that artillery exchanges have imperilled civilians and essential infrastructure, including a factory in the Tavush region of Armenia making personal protective equipment essential for the COVID-19 response,” it says.
In the Eastern Diocese, the Diocesan Legate and Ecumenical Director Archbishop Vicken Aykazian alerted the Armenian Church community to a companion statement from the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. Both groups express particular concern that the Azeri attacks on Armenia’s border have come in the context of the Coronavirus pandemic, which has put the entire region in desperate straights.
Archbishop Aykazian–who serves on the boards of both the WCC and the NCC, and is a former president of the latter–has long been an influential voice on the ecumenical stage, and was instrumental in the release of these statements.
“Our people in Tavush and throughout Armenia need our vocal support in these tense times,” said Archbishop Aykazian. “They need the support of our sister churches across America and the world. And of course, they desperately need our prayers for safety, health, justice, and peace.”
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Above: Catholicos Karekin II bestows his fatherly blessing on soldiers defending Armenia’s northern border.