In recent weeks, the entire world has witnessed the regrettable shedding of innocent blood in Artsakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh, the ancestral land of the local Armenian population.
The hardship and violence, destruction and pain caused cannot be ignored by the international community nor by men and women of faith.
As faith leaders we raise our voices in prayer to the Lord for a peaceful just resolution, all the while lamenting the most unfortunate turn of events whereby peoples’ fundamental rights and freedoms continue to be violated in Artsakh.
Furthermore, we stand firmly by the victims of this tragedy and earnestly encourage every initiative that will promote peace and justice for all. We deplore the military attacks and other horrific acts of brutality which have taken place, and call upon the political leaders to work together conscientiously with good will and humility so that the God-given and inalienable freedoms will flourish and serenity will reign once again.
We also wish to encourage the Government of Canada to take concrete measures for the protection of the local Armenian population of Artsakh and to employ efforts in setting into motion a mechanism whereby ethnic Armenians may enjoy the means for just and lawful self-determination in that region.
Before this crisis escalates even more, we appeal to those who occupy positions of authority, responsibility and influence to engage in sincere negotiations and resolve wholeheartedly to maintain definitively the ceasefire and to work in unison so as to forge a new path forward so all can live in peace and prosperity, with the Lord’s blessing.
Archbishop Richard Gagnon
Archbishop of Winnipeg
President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
Bishop Mikael Mouradian
Eparchial Bishop for the Catholic Armenians in Canada and the United States
Bishop Abgar Hovakimyan
Primate of the Armenian Holy Apostolic Church Canadian Diocese