This new report entitled The Anatomy of Genocide: Karabakh’s Forty-Four Day War from International Christian Concern confirms what many saw in the recent conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia: a revival of the dark days of the Armenian Genocide of the early twentieth century, when the Ottoman government pursued the systematic extermination of 1.5 million Armenians, mostly Ottoman citizens within the Ottoman Empire and its successor state, the Republic of Turkey, as well as over 1,000,000 Greek Orthodox Christians. Hundreds of thousands of people were forcibly converted to Islam. To this day, the Turkish government refuses to acknowledge this atrocity as a genocide, saying that it was simply a religious conflict between Christians and Muslims.
As we continue to see the Ecumenical Patriarchate and our Mother Church of Constantinople suffering from religious persecution, and note with sorrow the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and elsewhere today, and pray that this crisis will pass peacefully and that such inhumanity will never again be seen anywhere in the world.
For previous ChristianPersecution.com coverage of the persecution of Christians in Azerbaijan and its environs, click here.
“Report: The Anatomy of Genocide – Karabakh’s Forty-Four Day War,” International Christian Concern, January 21, 2021:
From the Introduction:
“War erupted in the South Caucasus on 27 September 2020 when Azerbaijan and Turkey launched a joint military operation named Operation Iron Fist into the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh (Armenian: Artsakh). A truce was brokered by Russia forty-four days later which ceded significant parts of Karabakh to Azerbaijan.
During those forty-four days, Azeri and Turkish-paid Syrian mercenaries published multiple accounts and footage demonstrating possible war crimes against the local community. Following the truce, Turkey entered a peacekeeping role alongside Russia. Nevertheless, Turkey demonstrates biased support to Azerbaijan, who persists in violating the truce’s terms and the basic principles of human rights.
The dynamics of this conflict are deeply complex, but have strong religious freedom implications impacting the future of Karabakh’s local community. The strategic planning by Turkey and Azerbaijan show an intent of mass extermination, thereby genocide, of Karabakh’s Armenian residents because of their combined faith and ethnic identity.
These identities are important to the Pan-Turkic ideology driving Azerbaijan and Turkey’s activities in Karabakh. This ideology is hidden behind highly symbolic language. Tactics used to promote this ideology include erasing Christianity from the historical memory of Karabakh, dehumanizing local residents, dismantling their identity, and using a variety of impression management maneuvers to limit the ability of international observers to name this war for what it is: genocide.”