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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_single_image image=”126088″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]08/28/2021 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – The Church was born in the Middle East and thrived there until Islam’s violent overnight invasion. The attack came without warning and changed everything. Today, Christians are a minority in the Middle East, resulting from centuries of living as subjugated, second-class citizens under dhimmitude.

Currently, we are witnessing another Islamic war on the Church. Again, it’s a retelling of history, but this time in Artsakh. But something is different today. Rather than just subjugating the land and allowing Christians to live as second-class citizens, the Turkic invaders want to annihilate them.

They don’t want conquest. They want genocide.

They intend on wiping away any reminder that Christianity was ever here.

Armenia (including Artsakh) welcomed the Gospel with open arms and was the first nation to accept Christianity in 301 AD.

Jesus told us that if we loved Him that we would be hated and persecuted. Armenia’s Christians have lived the truth of Jesus’s promise repeatedly.

They survived Islam’s first invasion from the people of Turkey in the 11th century.

They survived Turkey’s genocidal war of 1915, which killed more than a million Armenian Christians.

They survived the Soviet Union’s Marxists who banned Christianity. But now, Islam’s invaders have returned.

One man we interviewed, clutching his grandson close and raising his hand, which was missing two fingers, to the sky, told us:

“Spiritually, we are suffering, [but] we are waiting to see what status they will give us. [We may have to leave] because it is impossible to live with them. On the other hand, how can I leave? I invested thousands of millions of drams into woodworking. I built this house myself in 1978. How can I leave all of these things?”

“Yet. . .it is impossible to live with them.”

This last comment caught our attention, as it was said after the interview.

For months, ICC watched Azerbaijan and Turkey use language that clearly demonstrated an intent to wipe Christianity off the map in Artsakh.

But here we were in the presence of the survivors and their life was a miracle. They have all lost so much in this war, most importantly, their loved ones.

But despite the fact that they are living in what amounts to an open-air prison, they demonstrate a profound desire to stay. They built their lives here. They tell us that leaving would feel like a betrayal. They are determined to stay until life itself becomes impossible.

“But is there a future here?” we asked the people of Artsakh. “We don’t know,” was a repeated answer.

That was the beginning of the conversation, though. We repeatedly heard and felt that Christianity had not ended there—yet.

By traveling to Artsakh, we witnessed something that Turkey and Azerbaijan have worked night and day to hide. They are telling the world that the war is over and that nothing happened here. But what we saw on the ground exposed their lie!

The people of Artsakh are survivors, but Turkey has made it plain that they will soon begin Phase II of a genocidal war to wipe the Christians of Artsakh off the map. Unless the West or the Soviet Union intervenes, it will be devastating.

Just as when Islam first attacked the Church of the Middle East so many centuries ago, the invaders are at their doorstep.

Artsakh’s Christians are alive, but they need your voice and help to move from barely surviving to secure and safe.

When Noah landed on Mount Ararat following the great Flood, Artsakh was in the mountain’s shadow. Artsakh is the land where Shem, Ham, Japheth, and their wives and children walked and lived out their days. It is where God rebuilt humanity.

The people of Artsakh are truly the people of Noah and identify as such. As one Artsakh leader shared with us, “We are people of culture, and the cross is our culture. Christianity started here, and it will end here.”

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