Patriarch of Moscow Kirill (Gundjaev) has addressed an appeal to Armenians and Azeris in conflict in Nagorno Karabakh, to end "this new whirlwind of conflict that has lasted for more than thirty years, in which the inhabited centres are bombed, people die, the sanctuaries and monuments of the cultural tradition are destroyed, the homes of peaceful people are decimated."
The patriarch assured the closeness of the Russian Orthodox Church, which together with the religious leaders of the two countries is making every effort to restore peace in the region.
The patriarch invites all involved to respect the agreements reached between the foreign ministers, with the mediation of Russia, and to maintain the truce agreed on 10 October to reach a political solution. "A bad peace is worse than a good fight", recalls the leader of the Russian Orthodox, referring to popular wisdom, "in conditions of peace you can meet, communicate, seek the solution of problems have compassion for each other's life."
Kirill recalls that "Armenia and Azerbaijan historically have always been and will remain close, living side by side with each other throughout the territory of the two countries, the lives of many people, and the peaceful future of your peoples depend on your decisions.”
The patriarch’s intervention seeks to shore up Russian mediation in a decidedly dramatic framework, where it is evident that the fragile truce agreed is not able to withstand even a few days, given that it is not respected by either side.
WCC calls for immediate end to military actions
On the other hand, World Council of Churches interim general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca has expressed deep concern about the violations of the humanitarian ceasefire agreed between Armenia and Azerbaijan on 10 October.
World Council of Churches interim general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca expressed deep concern about the violations of the humanitarian ceasefire agreed between Armenia and Azerbaijan on 10 October.
“We urge all parties to the conflict to end all military actions immediately, to respect the ceasefire agreement reached in Moscow, and to engage in constructive dialogue aimed at protecting human lives and rights, preventing attacks on civilian infrastructure and places of worship, and achieving a sustainable peace,” said Sauca. “Among many other tragic impacts of the conflict already, we were shocked and dismayed by the attack on the Ghazanchetsots cathedral, in which civilians were sheltering at the time.”
Sauca continued: “We condemn any targeted attack on one another’s religious and cultural sites,” he said. “We pray and hope that religious leaders and institutions, together with decision makers, can join together in concerted efforts for an end to this conflict, for the protection of every human life, for the promotion of interreligious understanding and respect for each others’ communities and holy places, and in cooperation for peace, justice and human dignity.”