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Catholicos Karekin II: “Artsakh Cannot Be Part of Azerbaijan, Under Any Status”

In another powerful address, His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, conveyed a special message to the Armenian people on Sunday, October 25.

His words, delivered on the eve of one month since Azerbaijan launched its unprovoked surprise attack on Artsakh, focused on the courage of the soldiers risking all in defense of the homeland, and on the sacrifice of their families. “Heavenly blessings upon the families of our soldiers, upon their dear mothers and fathers,” the Catholicos said.

In detailing Azerbaijan’s atrocious prosecution of the war, and its contemptuous conduct during every ceasefire negotiation, Catholicos Karekin II concluded that “these [actions] should stand as proof enough that Artsakh cannot be a part of Azerbaijan, under any status.”

With emotion in his voice, His Holiness acknowledged the spirit of solidarity among all Armenians today. “Now, as a nation with one heart and one soul, united and consolidated, let us forge the victory of our new history. Just as we today find inspiration in our heroic ancestors, repeating their words with special pride, so too will future generations declare that they are the descendants of the brave, the heroic sons and daughters of this age.”

Click on the following link to watch a recording of his message. Read an English rendering below.

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Message of His Holiness Karekin II
Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians

October 25, 2020 | Holy Etchmiadzin

Our Beloved Children,

At this crucial moment for our nation and homeland, we once again offer you our fatherly message.

Today, our people across the world are contributing their talents and abilities to our sacred struggle for the free, independent life of Armenians living in Artsakh.

Supported by our Lord and by the prayers offered in our churches, our courageous soldiers continue to bravely resist the enemy and drive him back—knowing full well that victoryis the only guarantee for the steadfast security of the Republic of Artsakh.

Throughout history, our people have faced many trials. But we have never retreated, always showing an invincible spirit and power to attain victories.

Our ancestors endured many difficulties, bravely drove away fear and despair, conquered death by the grace of Christ’s Resurrection, and forged the glorious victories of our native land.

It is true that “the brave are descended from brave ancestors.” Today, brave sons of a new generation have become heroes in the same spirit of their ancestors: committing their precious lives to our people and homeland.

The parents who gave these brave fighters to the Armenian army are also exemplars of courage and heroism. Heavenly blessings upon the families of our soldiers, upon their dear mothers and fathers.

We also extend our appreciation and prayers to the representatives of national minorities among us, who support our people, and whose sons fight side by side with the Armenian soldiers.

Today, as we consider Azerbaijan and the war it has unleashed; its negative attitude towards a humanitarian ceasefire; its disruption of negotiations with ultimatums; its shelling of settlements and civilian populations in Artsakh, which has caused such destruction and loss of human life; its aspiration to resolve the matter of Artsakh only through military action; as well as its history in recent decades—these should stand as proof enough that Artsakh cannot be a part of Azerbaijan, under any status.

The threat to our existence leaves us no choice but to defend the right of our people in Artsakh to a free and independent life, through a life-or-death struggle—and thereby to re-establish peace. The world is still reluctant to condemn the violence and atrocities of the enemy; but God supports us in our goal of peace and freedom. With the power of our faith, the apostle says, “Christ will grant victory with Jesus” (2 Corinthians 2:14).

Our Beloved Sons: At this crucial moment we call on you to bravely join the sacred struggle for the defense of the homeland and nation—to stand by our warriors on the frontier—in order to defeat the insidious enemy, destroy his evil intentions, and strengthen our homeland, our statehood.

Now more than ever before, national unity and solidarity are imperative for us, so that the selfless courage of our sons will be crowned with victory, and precious human lives will be saved. Let us be worthy of our heroic sons, their glorious spirit and their immortal heroism, with our own courage, life, and deeds.

We extend our fatherly message to give spiritual sustenance to the officers of the Armenian Army; to inspire the sons of our nation in their defense of the homeland; to strengthen all our people with faith; to unite us in a prayer for victory.

Now, as a nation with one heart and one soul, united and consolidated, let us forge the victory of our new history. Just as we today find inspiration in our heroic ancestors, repeating their words with special pride, so too will future generations declare that they are the descendants of the brave, the heroic sons and daughters of this age.

We convey our heartfelt prayer that the resolution of our people across the world will be unshakable; that the spirit and the arm of the homeland defender will be powerful. We ask Almighty God to protect our people; to set us free from the trials of evil, by enemies visible and invisible; to grant peace and prosperity to our homeland, and to the entire Armenian nation—now and always. Amen.

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