Speech of the Primate of the diocese on the 35th anniversary of the "Artsakh movement"

"Justice uplifts the nation,

but sin destroys the nations"

(Proverbs 14:34)

These wise words from the book of Proverbs of the Bible dispel all our conflicting thoughts that arise in us when we remember the national awakening of our people 35 years ago and when we simultaneously look at our current life.

These were really days worthy of memory and gratitude, when the people of Artsakh, united, began to move for God-given freedom. We gave an interesting name to our struggle of those days - "Artsakh Movement". This means that people began to move, work, move from emotional indifference and inaction to practical steps, and the result was victorious. Yes, it was difficult to start a movement and fight for Artsakh, which is its natural continuation, but it is just as, and maybe even more difficult, to keep it all.

Today, when we have gathered again to re-evaluate the "Artsakh movement", which began 35 years ago and is still not finished, we are all overwhelmed with different questions and feelings. The difficulties in our national and state life, the inestimable losses caused by the war, the current trials have stirred the mind and soul of every thinking Armenian. The wounds of the last Artsakh war have not yet healed, and the enemy is constantly adding salt to this wound. Even today, he is trying in various ways to extinguish our movement for freedom and independence.

It seems that we have no shortage of politico-diplomatic efforts and analyzes to save our country, which are certainly important, but insufficient and not deep.

We, the clergy of the Armenian Apostolic Church, every day look to the sky and ask God for freedom, strength, and salvation for Artsakh. But God does not offer salvation to any person or nation just like that but gives us the tools, shows the path, and is ready to be a companion on this path if we want. Our Lord Jesus Christ says, “The soul is the creator of life; the flesh can create nothing” (John 6:64). We, as a Christian people, must realize that the root of all problems in life is hidden in the spiritual realm, so we can say with confidence that all the political wisdom of peoples and states comes down to the following words of Holy Scripture: “Justice exalts a nation, and sin destroys nations”.

Justice elevates the nation, not the political science of the elders, not the wealth of the country, not the multitude of troops. Skillful politics and diplomacy can indeed lead the country to a happy state for several decades, but if the people do not have a spiritual impulse towards goodness and truth, then the efforts and zeal of the rulers will not bear fruit.

Just as sin leads to the loss of a person, it also happens in the case of those peoples who are devoid of the fear of God and in which selfishness grows. The key to the salvation of our people lies in a sincere faith in God and a moral, virtuous life. In a country devoid of divine laws, each person is his own god, and the world revolves around him. Involuntarily, everyone lives and acts against everyone, and the result of this secret war is that the nation is wiped off the face of the earth, or becomes a prisoner of another nation.

Dear ones, in an interesting way, today coincided with the first day of Great Lent of our Church, which, again, like an impulse, invites all of us to spiritually examine the essence of our struggle for independence. If we are not fair, faithful and sincere in our calling, then we do not have the moral right to look for traitors and internal enemies, trying to accuse them of our sin, which, unfortunately, we often do not see and do not accept.

Today, the blockade of Artsakh deliberated by the enemy involuntarily awakened in us the memory of the days when our struggle was just beginning. This blockade, with all its troubles and difficulties, also showed that our people still have the potential of 1988, that the people of Artsakh do not want to leave their homeland and are able to resist any adversity together. Today, the realization is fresh again that we cannot exist as a nation without the Motherland, because the Motherland is the cradle of the nation, the creator of the nation, the Motherland is the heart of the nation, the mind and essence of the nation.

Therefore, dear ones, we pray and wish that God would give wisdom to our people so that we could always be in the movement for the independence of the Motherland, be vigilant and courageous in order to admit our mistakes and once again raise our people to the path of justice.

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