War Erupts Between Armenia and Azerbaijan

Photo shows a school destroyed by shelling in the war zone last week. (Header photo courtesy of SGA)

Last week, devastating conflict broke out between the countries of Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Southern Caucasus. This weekend, missiles struck Azerbaijan’s second-largest city, Ganja, injuring dozens.

Eric Mock of Slavic Gospel Association describes the battle taking place over Nagorno-Karabakh, a small piece of land between the two countries. “Since July, there’s been a substantial uptick in conflict. Now, in the last week or so, there’s been horrendous shelling and aerial bombardment of villages within this region.”

“It’s terrible right now. Children are dying, women are dying, civilians are dying.”

Fighting began early last week and hundreds have been killed, many of them civilians.

International complications

Many fear this conflict will draw in many other players in the international community. Armenia has strong ties to Russia, and Azerbaijan to Turkey. Turkey has even been accused of shooting down an Armenian jet, though they have denied the charge.

Turkey, of course, has very poor relations with Armenia, with the Armenian genocide looming large just over a century ago.

Mock explains the root cause of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict: “Armenia is predominantly a Christian nation where Azerbaijan is a predominantly Muslim nation. And so there are not only religious distinctions but political distinctions and historical distinctions.”

Mock says Armenia and Azerbaijan also fought over Nagorno-Karabakh between 1988 and 1994 as the Soviet Union was breaking apart. This region is ethnically Armenian and governed by ethnic Armenians. Officially, though, the land belongs to Azerbaijan.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kevin Zeller

CALL TO ACTION

  • Pray the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan will end soon.
  • Consider supporting SGA as they work with local churches in the war zone to provide food and share the Gospel.
  • Pray Christians in the war zone and in Azerbaijan will be safe.