The world’s first Christian nation is under attack.
Yesterday, September 13, 2022, the Azerbaijani military launched a large-scale assault on the territory of the Republic of Armenia. Cities and towns deep inside Armenian territory have been bombed. So far, the Armenian government has confirmed 49 soldiers killed; the true death toll, among both soldiers and civilians, is surely higher.
Russia has brokered a fragile ceasefire, but fresh attacks were reported this morning. France has announced that it will raise the situation at the UN Security Council.
This attack represents yet another stage in the Armenian Genocide. This genocide process began in the late 19th century, when the Ottoman Empire massacred hundreds of thousands of Armenian Christians, and reached its peak in 1915-1923, when the Empire liquidated the Christian populations of Anatolia and sponsored anti-Armenian massacres in the Caucasus. From 1988-1994, Azerbaijan carried out further ethnic cleansing of Armenian Christians.
The most recent stage in the genocide process was Azerbaijan’s 2020 assault on the Armenian territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Thousands were killed in this 44-day war of aggression, and Azerbaijan ethnically cleansed the lands it conquered of their Armenian inhabitants. Armenian civilians caught behind Azerbaijani lines were kidnapped or executed.
In that war, as in the current attack, support from the Republic of Turkey – the Ottoman Empire’s successor state – was crucial to Azerbaijan’s efforts. The violence was only suspended by the intervention of Russian peacekeepers.
With this new assault, the genocide process has moved, for the first time since 1920, into the territory of the Republic of Armenia itself. If the fighting continues to escalate, it could lead to the final extinction of Armenians in their homelands.
The international community is not helpless in this matter. The United States, its allies, and Russia hold significant influence over Turkey and Azerbaijan. Turkey is a member of NATO; Azerbaijan receives over $100 million in military aid from the United States every year; NATO states are actively seeking to replace Russian energy imports with imports from Azerbaijan; Russia sells vast quantities of military hardware to Azerbaijan.
Christian Solidarity International calls on the United States, its NATO partners, and the Russian Federation to suspend all security cooperation with Azerbaijan and to take all necessary restraining measures until this aggression ends.
We call on the UN Security Council to fulfill the role for which it was created and respond forcefully to this act of aggression.
Furthermore, we call on the church in Europe and the United States to speak out for, and bring aid to, our Armenian brothers and sisters in Christ, who are enduring yet another round of violence aimed at extinguishing their existence as a people.