Azerbaijan (MNN) — Last year, Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a bloody war in the Southern Caucuses. Now, a group called the Grey Wolves has promised to build a school in this war-torn area. Unfortunately, the international community recognizes the Grey Wolves as a terrorist organization.
The Grey Wolves are a far-right organization with ties to Turkey. It is a paramilitary group that advocates using violence to advance nationalist causes. France has banned the organization from operating in the country and other countries are considering similar action.
Joel Griffith of the Slavic Gospel Association says Armenia and Azerbaijan have a history of warfare, tracing back to the end of the Soviet Union. In the first war, which lasted from 1988-1994, Armenia took control of the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region. “In the most recent conflict that broke out late last year, Azerbaijan came down and took back some territory. And they were able to reach (with some international mediation) a peace agreement. With this new wrinkle being thrown in with the Grey Wolves, it remains to be seen what that’s going to do. It is a troubling development.”
The Gospel vs. extremism
SGA works with churches in this region. They help local Christians provide humanitarian aid to those in need, showing the love and hope of Jesus. Learn more about these programs and get involved here.
Pray this good news would prevail over extremist ideology. Griffith says, “If this actually does come to fruition, and this kind of a school opens up, you’re obviously going to have a lot of ideology that can be very deadly coming out of a place like that. And who knows what impact that’s going to have on the churches of the days ahead. I don’t think it’ll be a good one, because this ideology tends to be very anti-Christian as well.”
Pray the Grey Wolves will not be able to build a school in a region already ravaged by violence. Pray that instead, the Gospel would bring peace and wholeness to the land.
The header image shows the logo of the Grey Wolves on a car in Munich. (Henning Schlottmann (User:H-stt), CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)