That the World May Know: How I Pray for Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Other Wars
As my Armenian family grieves for Artsakh, John 17 offers a guide for all Christians to intercede for all conflicts.
“The doves will fly again.”
These words, accompanied by a reference to Genesis 8:4, were superimposed on a photo of We Are Our Mountains, a monument made of volcanic rock depicting a tatik (grandmother) and papik (grandfather). This 1967 statue near Stepanakert is easily recognized as the symbol of the Armenian heritage of Artsakh, better known as the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh—a region most Americans probably could not point out on a map. Today it is a bloody battlefield as Azerbaijan and Armenia fight over the land.
The conflict over which country has claim to Karabakh began a century ago, after the fall of the Russian Empire, and resurfaced after the fall of the Soviet Union. The history and politics embroiled in this battle are far more complex than I can explain or even comprehend. However, I understand the pain, grief, and discouragement of my people.
I am a Canadian-born Armenian who lost great-grandfathers in the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians living in Turkey between 1915 and 1923. Historically, Armenia has lost not only a great number of people, but much of the land that once belonged to it. An ancient nation that was once a great empire has been reduced to a fraction of its original territory—which once included Mount Ararat, the resting place of Noah’s ark.
The long caption accompanying the meme I saw on Facebook said that “defenders are holding firm to the land of Noah.” In 2013, I stood a few miles from the Armenia-Turkey border, gazing at Mount Ararat in the distance with tears in my eyes. What a loss to the country that was the first to adopt Christianity as its state religion, and one of the first to translate the Bible.
My family has …
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