This week marks the 33rd year since the anti-Armenian pogroms in Sumgait. It was in late February of 1988 that Armenians in the town of Sumgait, Azerbaijan, were targeted for violence, murder, and expulsion by mobs of Azerbaijanis acting with the complicity of the government and police.
The pogroms were unleashed in retaliation for the Karabagh independence movement, then in its earliest stages. Other anti-Armenian atrocities would follow in subsequent months. As a result, nearly the entire Armenian population was forced to flee Azerbaijan over a short a period.
After more than a generation, the Armenians who survived those bitter days have overcome great adversity to build their lives anew. Yet the tragedy of Sumgait—as well as Baku, Kirovabad, and elsewhere—is still painfully present among our people, as we all witnessed mere months ago.
This Sunday, offer a prayer of remembrance for the Armenian souls lost, and a prayer of gratitude for those God saved—33 years ago, and down to the present day.