Prayers for Peace in Artsakh – Nagorno-Karabakh
The Uniting Church in Australia is deeply concerned by the recent violence in Artsakh – Nagorno-Karabakh. The conflict between Azeri and ethnic Armenian forces has continued over recent days with fears it could escalate across the region.
The Uniting Church is aware of the significant number of people from this region who have made their home in Australia, some within our Church, and understands the distress and anguish this situation brings. The Church expresses concern for our Armenian members who have shared of their distress about the ongoing violence, including the destruction of the Ghazanchetsots Church Cathedral in Shushi - Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), a place of worship from the mid-1700s. The Cathedral was visited by UCA members on a tour of the region in 2019. On 8 October 2020 the church was hit by a missile.
The Uniting Church supports the call by the United Nations and several national leaders around the world for a ceasefire to these current hostilities, especially urging the Australian Government to use its diplomatic influence to help bring the international community together to initiate peace talks and put a stop to the horrendous acts of violence.
Uniting Church President Dr Deidre Palmer encourages UCA members to hold in prayer the Armenian members of the Uniting Church, those who have had loved ones killed or injured and to pray for a peaceful outcome to this conflict.
On 12 October 2020, World Council of Churches interim general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca expressed deep concern about ongoing violations of the humanitarian ceasefire agreed between Armenia and Azerbaijan on 10 October.
“We condemn any targeted attack on one another’s religious and cultural sites,” said Rev. Dr Sauca.
ABOVE: The Ghazanchetsots Cathedral which was hit by a missile on 8 October. Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghazanchetsots_Cathedral