The six weeks of bloody armed conflict that occurred a few weeks ago in Artsakh- Armenian name of Nagorno-Karabakh- ended with a ceasefire, in effect as of midnight November 9-10, as well as with a deal that leaves the region short of a clear and sustainable and long-lasting peace. It was an arrangement loose enough to maintain a tense coexistence with no reliable foundation for more durable peace.
The Middle East Council of Churches (MECC), being a faith-based organization with a reconciliatory mission to bring warring peoples and groups through dialogue, to living together in harmony and peace, maintaining a shared peaceful coexistence, calls the parties and international stakeholders to guarantee that the ceasefire holds .Thus a regional state of affairs that would benefit all parties involved in the conflict would be ensured as it would clarify the status of Artsakh and would prevent the risk currently endangering thousands of people as the lives of thousands remain at risk.
We, as MECC, Armenian Churches (Armenian Orthodox, Armenian Catholic and Armenian Evangelical churches) being among its founding members, are deeply concerned with the religious freedom and practice of faith and with the fate of people who may be subject to all sort of retaliations. We are also concerned with the fate of the Christian heritage, of churches monasteries, monuments and museums that are currently, and may be, encountering destruction and even total removal from the map.
In this respect, we call upon all international organizations to become involved in protecting the soul and the stone in Artsakh which has the right to self-determination like any other nation and people in the world. We further reiterate the importance of establishing a sincere dialogue between all the concerned parties for the sake of people living in this region. Such a move would pave the way for ensuring the necessary steps for the establishment of a new regional order that would benefit all parties involved in the present conflict.
Beirut, November 19th, 2020
The Middle East Council of Churches