Azerbaijan (MNN) — Another week, another failed ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Southern Caucasus. The countries are fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, a long-disputed piece of land between their borders.
Russia brokered the truce once again, and the ceasefire was supposed to go into effect on the morning of October 18. However, just minutes in, both sides reported artillery and missile fire breaking the agreement.
Refugees fleeing the fighting
The war continues to devastate both sides, including civilians caught in the crossfire. Eric Mock of Slavic Gospel Association says refugees have been pouring out of the warzone into both countries. “With most families, what has happened is the women and the children have fled as refugees. The husbands instead have gone to the front line.”
“In fact, one person writes that their uncle’s son joined the army. But he was listed on the list of names who were killed this week. And another man who used to be a restaurant manager is now on the front-line fighting, and doesn’t know if he will ever see his family again.”
Mock says many of these families woke up to the sound of artillery fire but hoped the conflict would be short, like the Four-Day War in 2016. But when it became apparent this war wouldn’t end any time soon, the wives and children fled. Mock says, “We’re talking about a lot of single moms who are trying to take care of children on their own. And then in the midst of that, not knowing whether they’ll even see their husbands again. These are really brutal times.”
How to help
Mock was speaking to a local Christian leader in the region. “He said three different times to me, ‘Pray for peace in this region. Pray for peace, pray for restoration, pray for lives to be transformed.’”
You can help by financially supporting SGA, enabling them to support these churches in Armenia and Azerbaijan. Pray especially for the churches in Azerbaijan, as they already face a lot of persecution for their faith. In a time of war, nationalistic zeal is creating even more animosity against them.
The header photo shows shrapnel from the fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan. (Photo courtesy of Voice of America, Public Domain)