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12/06/2023 Armenia (International Christian Concern) — It has been more than two months since Azerbaijan seized control of Nagorno-Karabakh in 2023. The military take-over followed nine months of brutal blockade on more than 100,000 ethnic Armenian Christians in the enclave. After the Azerbaijani take-over, the Armenian population fled to neighboring Armenia.  

The stories emerging from the refugees in Armenia paint a harrowing picture of the traumatic events they witnessed in late September of this year. As Azerbaijani armed forces advanced, reports surfaced of snipers targeting civilians hunkered down in bomb shelters in the city. Additionally, there are disturbing accounts of captured Armenian soldiers facing massacres, while several individuals are reported still missing and unaccounted for during the conflict. 

In the aftermath of the Nagorno-Karabakh war, the presence of profound trauma has become painfully evident as men, women, and children grapple with the devastating impact of the conflict.  

For women and children, the trauma extends beyond the immediate impact of the war. Suffering for nine months with such limited supplies, the chaos of fleeing Artsakh to Armenia in just 10 days, and the uncertainty of the future have left emotional wounds. Among this group, there are also new widows grappling with the pain of loss, unsure of the fate of their husbands and sons, who are either missing or confirmed dead in the conflict.  

The men, particularly those aged 18 and above, who served and fought in the army bear a unique burden of trauma. Their collective sense of brokenness and defeat is palpable after losing the war, their homes and farms, and the very national project of Artsakh itself. 

Amid the chaos and tragedy, personal stories of resilience and shattered faith are also emerging. Their collective sense of Christian identity – as the world’s first Christian nation – is evident. In the face of displacement from Artsakh, their primary plea to the outside world is a heartfelt request to defend not only their land but also the Christian faith of their people.  

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