Thousands of Armenian Christians live and work in Iraq and surrounding countries, and I know many personally. Their families are not originally from Iraq, though, in fact, their history goes back to the disciples Bartholomew and Thaddeus (Jude) who shared Christ in the Kingdom of Armenia where many responded to the gospel. For centuries, the “Eastern Church,” has had a rich history of faith, tradition and persecution through the centuries. You may not be very familiar with these Christians, but they definitely exist and trouble is on the horizon for them once again in Armenia.

More recently, their history was clouded by the Armenian Genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire from the spring of 1915 through the fall of 1916, killing between 600,000 – 1.8 million Armenians. Hundreds of thousands were deported and tens of thousands of Armenian children were taken from their families and converted to Islam.

Map of Armenia and Azerbaijan
Used with permission

In September 2023, just last month, over 100,000 (out of a population of 120,000) Armenians were forced to leave their homes, farms and businesses in Nagorno-Karabakh. After nine months of being denied food supplies via Azerbaijan’s blockade, and virtually little or no international intervention by the United States or the European Union, they left. For centuries, Armenians have built churches, both small and grand in size where they met. Now, it’s almost certain these, along with their tombstones and culture will be erased from the landscape by the same government that has promised them safety – Azerbaijan. Like ISIS’s destruction of Christian and Yazidi churches and temples, Armenian churches and monuments will be “restored” to now be “ancient Caucasian Albanian culture” artifacts.

Now the real picture is coming to light as earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke about this situation saying that there are signs that Azerbaijan could invade Armenia very soon – using this same corridor in Nagorno-Karbakh to reach Armenia. We can pray now, and we can voice our concerns now before another Christian genocide takes over the headlines. Please join me in praying for peace in this region.

– Dee A. Cook, CEO