Students in Armenia and Azerbaijan are facing a heartrending war against the other. For nearly thirty years, ethnic tensions have accelerated over a territorial dispute. Now it has left both countries with thousands of military casualties, many of which are university students. As students are called to war, Christians on both sides are praying for peace.
There is no simple solution. Students in both countries feel caught between their love for their homeland and God’s command to love their enemies. Still, their governments are asking them to fight. In years past, hearts on both sides were beginning to soften. Now leaders fear that any progress towards reconciliation will be undone. But both sides are doing the best they can to manage deep wounds.
It is difficult for outsiders to know how to show support. Sergei, Eurasia Regional Secretary, says it is important not to take sides, but rather to listen with empathy to both.
“We must avoid rationalizing why the situation has happened. We don’t want to be like Job’s friends. So instead we pray for both countries. And we learn to do simple things like ask ‘How are you today? What’s going on?’ and give them our full attention.”
This week let’s intercede for our brothers and sisters in Armenia and Azerbaijan. Join us in prayer for the following requests:
- As students and leaders rush to aid those without food and shelter, they are unable to deal with their own trauma and grief. Pray for healing in their minds and hearts.
- Pray that God will give wisdom to believers called to fight on the front lines. Ask God to help them find a path of faithful witness amidst heavy competing loyalties.
- Last week the Armenian movement received word that one of their student leaders serving as a doctor was killed. Pray for them as they grieve. Pray also for those in both countries who have lost loved ones
- Pray that the politicians involved will find a way to establish peace.