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A Pastoral Message for the People of Armenia and Artsakh

10/6/2020 9:55:00 AM

​Dear church,

One of our ecumenical partners, the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, has requested our prayers and support amid the increased hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The recent surprise attack on the people of Armenia and Artsakh has resulted in violence and death, buttressed by cyberattacks and disinformation. The nation of Armenia has been launched into a state of war.  

We join with the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches in voicing our sadness and solidarity with the people of Armenia and Artsakh, and in seeking to uphold the truth about the conflict. We call upon our elected leaders to utilize diplomatic channels to intervene in order to prevent further violence and death. We invite our congregations and leaders to reach out to their Armenian neighbors in expressions of Christly love and care.

In a letter I received, His Grace Bishop Daniel Findikyan, primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church, asks us to "pray alongside the Armenian Church faithful, as we implore our Lord Jesus to place his protection over the people of Armenia and Artsakh." Let us pray:  

O God, where hearts are fearful and constricted, grant courage and hope. Where anxiety is infectious and widening, grant peace and reassurance. Where impossibilities close every door and window, grant imagination and resistance. Where distrust twists our thinking, grant healing and illumination. Where spirits are daunted and weakened, grant soaring wings and strengthened dreams. All these things we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen. ("Prayer in Time of Conflict, Crisis, Disaster," Evangelical Lutheran Worship)

In peace,
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of "God's work. Our hands.," the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.

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