Bishop Christopher calls for prayer for the peace in Nagorno-Karabakh and for the security and rights of the ethnic-Armenian population in their ancient homeland.
"May I implore you to pray for peace and for the security of the Armenian people, not only of Karabakh but of Armenia itself."
Bishop Christopher made a previous Call for Prayer during the 2020 Nagorno Karabakh War, a cruel conflict which left the remaining Armenians in Karabakh in an extremely vulnerable state. That has been compounded by a siege like strategy in which the 120,000 or so population have been deprived of the basic necessities of life for the past ten months. Weakened in every way, they were attacked by the armed forces of Azerbaijan on Tuesday. A ceasefire is now in place but it is fragile and not holding in some places. The terms of the ceasefire come at great cost to the Armenian people of Nagorno Karabakh. Their future is deeply uncertain. Behind it all lies the spectre of repeated genocides the Armenians have faced over history.
The Bishops of Leeds and Southwark along with Bishop Christopher issued this Statement yesterday on the violence in Nagorno-Karabakh:
“Our hearts grieve for all those caught up in the latest violence in Nagorno-Karabakh and we appeal for lasting peace.
"We pray for everyone whose lives and livelihoods are at risk, and those for whom this is the latest in a long and tragic cycle of suffering.
"We appeal for access for the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) and other aid agencies so they can do their vital work of providing humanitarian relief and support to all those in need. We continue to pray for dialogue and non-violent solutions to this long-running conflict."
Bishop Christopher has since written to the Ambassador of Azerbaijan and to the Foreign Secretary, as well as tabling Questions for Written Answer in the House of Lords. The attacks on Nagorno Karabakh were raised in the UN Security Council yesterday (https://news.un.org/en/story/2023/09/1141232), with great concern expressed by a number of countries including the US, France, Germany and the UK