Bandaging and building the persecuted Church since 1995

Armenia: Genocide in Plain Sight

08/05/2021 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Artsakh (internationally recognized as Nagorno-Karabakh) is a tiny region the size of Delaware that lies between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Despite its size, this region has been hotly contested by the two countries for decades, stemming back to divisions made during the era of the Soviet Union. Last year, with Turkey’s backing, Azerbaijan launched a surprise attack on the region and captured most of the territory from Armenia.

Due to its small size and seemingly insignificant players, the world yawned, and the question inevitably follows, so what?

Armenia was the first nation to accept Christianity, making it the oldest Christian nation in the world. Despite this, due to Ottoman (Muslim) conquests, Armenia quickly became surrounded by Islamic nations hostile toward Christianity. That hostility reached its zenith in 1915 when Turkey (the Ottoman Empire) sought to wipe out Armenia’s Christians. They killed off all of the fighting-aged men and violently drove the women and children of the nation off their lands into long death marches.

It was a calculated genocide.

When the dust settled, 1.5 million Armenian Christians were dead, and much of the country dispersed throughout the world. Fast-forward to today. The Ottoman Empire is now modern-day Turkey. While Turkey was a moderate Islamic country for decades, its government was secular. That all changed with the rise of President Erdogan.

Erdogan was elected as a moderate reformer to fix Turkey’s corrupt government. Instead, once he gained power, he destroyed all opposition against him in the military, the press, and the judicial branch. Then, he changed the constitution to make himself president for life.

With his power secured, he has made it clear that he is a radical Islamist with expansionist dreams. He sees it as his destiny to rebuild the Ottoman Empire with himself sitting at the head of a new caliphate. In his speeches and the symbolism he uses to convey his messages, it’s obvious that he is and will be at war with Christians in his region.

He was instrumental in building up and sustaining ISIS fighters in the war in Syria. He has used those fighters in Libya.

As a Christian nation, Armenia is a thorn in his side, and their control of the Artsakh region is seen as a stain on Islam since it was formerly controlled by Muslim Azerbaijan.

So, Artsakh was targeted. Azerbaijan, with Erdogan’s aid, attacked. Historically, fights between Armenia and Azerbaijan were relatively even. But this time, Erdogan provided air support and hired and transported ISIS fighters to the battle.

Armenian forces were overwhelmed and did not stand a chance against the pressures surrounding them.

Armenians lost much more than territory. Azeri forces destroyed numerous Christian heritage sites, dating back to Christianity’s first appearance in the nation.

They also savaged Christian civilians, using tactics even harsher than traditional ISIS methods.

These elements are eerily reminiscent of tactics used by Ottoman conquerors during the genocide of 1915 when Turkey sought to wipe out Christian Armenia.

We are now witnessing another genocide happen to the oldest Christian nation right before our eyes—yet the world remains silent.

So what?

The decimation of Artsakh and the attack on the world’s oldest Christian nation may be a signal event. For those with ears to listen, we urge you to focus on this region.

Something extremely dangerous is growing with extremely important geopolitical implications. Today it was Artsakh. Tomorrow will be genocide if we stay silent.

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