Armenia (MNN) — Armenia and Azerbaijan signed a ceasefire over the weekend, but it has failed to stop the violence between the two countries over the Nagorno-Karabakh region in the Southern Caucasus.
Eric Mock of Slavic Gospel Association says, “There were recent talks in Moscow where they had brokered a ceasefire. But really, it was kind of in paper, not in the application as the fighting continues.”
This conflict has seen the widespread use of unmanned aerial vehicles, making combat more deadly as a result. Bomb-laden drones hover over the battlefield before diving towards targets and exploding.
Refugees fleeing the war zone
To make matters worse, civilians have often found themselves in the line of fire, and artillery shelling has hit villages. Mock says refugees are flooding out of the warzone into both countries. “The timing couldn’t be worse for these refugees. They are not only fleeing the fighting, but they’re finding themselves entering into countries at a time where we’re approaching winter. We’re hearing stories of families that are given shelter. But even shelter in buildings without heat is brutal right now.”
SGA works with local churches in both countries, trying to get aid to the refugees as they flee the fighting. Mock says, “Right now, we’re just trying to get food and warmth to the churches, allowing them to minister to the refugees. But again, we’re trying to minister to both sides, we have a ministry in both countries. The goal is the Gospel and seeing people transformed by God’s grace.”
As these churches care for those displaced by the fighting, pray many would be drawn to Christ’s love.
And pray peace would come to Armenia and Azerbaijan, ending this horrible violence. This seems like a hopeless situation with no end in sight, and people need the imperishable hope that Jesus offers.
The header image shows an Azerbaijan house damaged by shelling. (Photo courtesy of Voice of America, Public Domain)