WASHINGTON — As the blockade of Artsakh continues, two major ecumenical groups have issued statements strongly supporting Artsakh and Armenia in this time of crisis.
Thanks to the efforts of Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Diocesan Legate and Ecumenical Director of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, two major ecumenical organizations have decried the cruelties inflicted against Artsakh and Armenia.
“By its actions in obstructing the humanitarian Lachin corridor, and by temporarily cutting gas supplies to the region just at the onset of winter, Azerbaijan is deliberately creating a humanitarian emergency for the 120,000 ethnic Armenian residents of Artsakh/Nagorno-Karabakh, seeking to force Armenia into accepting a settlement on Azerbaijan’s terms, and trying to terrorize ethnic Armenians into abandoning their ancient homeland,” wrote the World Council of Churches in a letter to the European Union. “In these circumstances, Armenian fears of renewed genocide against them cannot be discounted.”
A communiqué from the U.S.-based National Council of Churches said: “We stand with the Armenian Church, and add our voices to those of the World Council of Churches, Pope Francis, and the Conference of European Churches. We call on the United States and its international allies to immediately pressure Azerbaijan to lift its unjust blockade and to allow food, medical supplies, and other essential resources to flow unimpeded.”
Below, read the full texts of the letters from the World Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches. (Readers are encouraged to share these statements with others in the surrounding community.)