The Future of Christianity is in danger after the end of armed conflict in Armenia

Monastère de Gandzassar Eglise Saint Jean Baptiste - région de Martakert - Haut Karabagh

The Pontifical Foundation of the Catholic Church, Aid to the Church in Need, shows that after the peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan, under Russian supervision, the future of the Christians of Karabakh region is in danger, because they abandoned their houses, churches and monasteries. 

On November 9, a peace treaty was signed to end the military conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh region, or Artsakh ( as named by the Armenians). The end of the armed conflict was followed by the transfer of Armenian territories to Azerbaijan. According to the treaty, Russian peacekeepers will remain in this territory for five year, extendable for more five years. 

Speaking to the “Persecuted but not forgotten” program of The Pontifical Foundation Aid to the Church in Need, Lilian Grigorian, a cardiologist of Armenian origin who lives in Spain, said , , that the agreement under Russian supervision, represents a very deep social and political crisis and may have serious consequences for the future of christians in the region.

Grigorian explained that the agreement results , in first place, in a “huge humanitarian crisis”, because all Armenians who live in “the territories of Nagorno-Karabakh region that must be given to Azerbaijan”, “abandoned their homes”, and come to Armenia as “refugees” and as “people in all types of needs”. 

In Armenia, “there is an internal crisis”, and “the country is close to civil war”, because of the conflict between the executive and the opposition. In addition, “there is a serious health crisis because of the thousands of injured in the NagornoKarabakh conflict and of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has also resulted in “a very serious economic crisis” for a country “which already is not in a good financial situation”. 

Grigorian also said that this crisis will have “unfortunate consequences” for the future of Christianity in Armenia. # She explained that the Christian faith “is a very important singn of indetity for the people”’, but it is ‘one of the reasons for this ethnic hatred that we suffer from Muslim Azeri population’.

Grigorian explained that even before the transfer of territories is completed , “acts of vandalism” are happening in the country, like ‘destruction of churches and cemeteries, which are ‘historical monuments of thousands of years old’. ‘We are trying to save what we can’.

Therefore,Christians, who are the majority in Karabakh region, abandon their homes, and as a consequence, ‘thousands of churches and monasteries’ are being abandoned too. 

Finally, Grigorian appealed to the international community to help Armenia. The only way to save the ethnic Armenians and achieve ‘ true and real peace’ is for all countries to recognize their right to self determination and independence to Artsakh territory as Alfred Maurice de Zays, a senior UN official specialist in International Law and Humans Rights said. 

‘I think that, now, we have to start correcting previous mistakes and achieving stabilization in that territory. We need the support of the international community and Spain, as a member of European Union has a fundamental role in it’. 

Translator: Leonardo Hototian © All rights reserved.