A Shocking Phone Call | Persecution

Bandaging and building the persecuted Church since 1995

A Shocking Phone Call

By ICC’s Field Correspondent

08/26/2021 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern)Arman Poghosyan was born in 1992 in Armenia’s resort town of Sevan, which is located on the northwestern shores of Lake Sevan. Military service is mandatory in Armenia, and after Arman graduated from the military institute in 2013, he realized that the defense of his homeland starts along the most dangerous border points of Nagorno-Karabakh (Armenian: Artsakh). For this reason, he voluntarily chose town Jabrayil (Armenian: Jrakan) as a place for further continuation of his military service.

Arman was one of those humble soldiers who never boasted, shouted, or advertised his invaluable services. He participated during the 4 days war in April 2016, when Azerbaijan started its aggression against Armenian people of Artsakh. Arman was now a Lieutenant, and he participated in protecting the defensive sector entrusted to him.

One of Arman’s comrades later said, “I was on duty that day on one of the checkpoints which being constantly under the enemy’s shelling. It was the most dangerous place at that time of the war. Arman, who was not married at the time, forced his married comrade-in-arms to go down to a safer place and replaced him with the words ‘you are married, and I am not, you are a parent of a child, and I won’t let your kid grow without father.’”

For his bravery during the war of April 2016, and his later military service, Arman became a captain of the Armenian army. He gained the nickname for his heroism as “the Eagle of Jabrayil.”

On September 2020, when the war started, Captain Arman Poghosyan was on his annual vacation at his parents’ place. Having received disturbing news of war, he immediately returned to Artsakh. On September 27, at 07:15 in the morning, in response to the large-scale military operation unleashed by the Azerbaijani aggressors, Captain A. Poghosyan’s battery launched a defense operation.

Thanks to the literate and accurate response of Arman, the battalion soldiers managed to win back two significant Armenian positions. According to other commanders, Captain A. Poghosyan’s unit was very effective, which is why it was targeted by the enemy. Eyewitness soldiers said, “The enemy drone turned on Arman’s command post and went back, which was followed by artillery strikes. Then Arman realizes that his artillery battery has been targeted, while he tries to take the secret file from the command post, he gives a command to his troops to enter the hiding places immediately. Arman by himself was going to approach his artillery instead of hiding, but that second the Azerbaijani drone targeted and shelled his positions. He was wounded very badly the very first day of the Artsakh war.”

Arman’s brother Ara remembers the dark day of October 3. Ara and his friends were on their way to Artsakh when he received a call that his brother was wounded, and that they brought him to Yerevan.

“I reached every hospital of the capital with unimaginable speed to find my brother. It was a chaotic situation everywhere. In every lobby of each hospital, there were many relatives of the war casualties. Some people were crying, the others were happy that their sons or brothers were amputated, but still alive. Others were looking for their family members who were brought from the frontline and were panicking when they couldn’t find them… That terrible image will never go away from my head till rest of my life,” Ara said.

All of a sudden, a young girl wearing a medical uniform approached me and said, “We are friends in Facebook, I know you are looking for your brother…” Her eyes started to get wet, the voice broke for a moment. She paused, and after a few seconds of silence, continued, “Please accept my condolences.”

“That phrase was the most unwanted I would ever wish to hear. I turned around and left the medical center with a feeling of emptiness which will never again be occupied. It’s an inexplicable feeling. It’s a great emptiness, an infinite vanity. It’s a feeling that there was nothing left, it’s a feeling of meaninglessness, it seemed to me that I had lost everything; it’s a feeling of despair,” Ara concluded.

Captain Arman Poghosyan used to have a notebook where he would write all his notes during his military service. Fortunately, Ara has it. In that notebook, there are words that describe Arman’s personality deeply:

“One has to live the life in such a way that the thorns of glory pierce that person every day and draw his/her blood for the glory of the Homeland. If to die, so that your death also serves the Homeland.”

This is how Arman lived every day; this is how he lived even in his last breath, for the sake of the Homeland. What is this Homeland? The first nation to receive Christianity. A country whose culture remains heavily intertwined with Christianity. A country whose people have suffered multiple genocides, such as the latest one which killed Arman.

On the gravestone of Captain Arman Poghosyan is his name, year of birth and death, as well as the nickname “THE EAGLE OF JABRAYIL.”

Arman left behind his wife and two young children.

Pictured above is Tigran, Arman’s oldest child.

ICC is on a mission to help persecuted Christians. Will you join us?