“When God, who is forever free,
Breathed life into my earthly frame…
A babe upon my mother’s breast…
Even then I stretched my feeble arms
Forth to embrace thee, Liberty!
…The first word on my childish lips
Was thy great name, O Liberty!
…I will be true to thee till death;
…Shall shout they name, O Liberty!”
—Michael Nalbandian (1830-1866)
Amidst the grave situation in Artsakh and Armenia, Mother Arousiag Sajonian, Superior General, Armenian Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, has written the following letter, which was included in her October 20, 2020, email, titled “An Open Letter to the World Citizens of Good Faith.” She also wrote to the Pope and the Conference of Italian Bishops, as well as to the Conference of French and American Bishops. Mother Arousiag added in her email that “the Sisters have doubled their prayers for Artsakh, begging the Lord to intervene as He did with young David crushing the forehead of Goliath.”
Mother Arousiag also noted that the Gyumri Convent/Center/Orphanage has welcomed 50 refugees from Artsakh, mainly from Hadrut. This week, 80 more refugees will be arriving at the Center’s camp in Tsaghkadzor. Mr. Alecco Bezikian of Switzerland, one of the Center’s benefactors, is financing the Tsaghkadzor relief mission.
An Open Letter to the World Citizens of Good Faith
October 15, 2020
For the past 18 days, the Nagorno-Karabakh region, also called Artsakh, endures an unprecedented attack by Azerbaijan since the war of 1990-1994 which killed 30,000 soldiers and civilians.
This land in the Caucasus, southeast of Armenia, populated by Armenians, was arbitrarily integrated to Azerbaijan by Stalin in 1923. With the fall of the USSR, Artsakh voted for its independence, asserting its right to self-determination provided by international and Soviet law. This is the right used by the Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan and is denied to Artsakh for geopolitical reasons.
On all television sets, experts explain that this land, which is at strategic crossroads, is stirring up covetousness. But at this crossing of worlds, my people live and die for more than 1000 years. At this crossroads of worlds, hundreds of monasteries have been built in which we proclaim our faith in Christ since the fourth century.
Dark powers have united and raised to destroy us, complying with a hegemonic dream led by Mr. Erdogan. Please do not turn your eyes from what is nothing less than a new genocide against my community.
Our soldiers are falling down. Our civilians are dying and murdered for not escaping with their children. Our churches are destroyed. In our cities, all you hear is the crash of bombs banned by the international community.
Today, we beg the world to demand an end to the Azeri, Turkish and Jihadist strikes and recognize the independence of Artsakh.
The battle portrayed for my people is its own survival. Each passing day is a lost day for those who fall. Moreover, as I write these lines, I think also of the Azeri families mourning because of the insane conquest of Mr. Aliyev.
I ardently beg and ask you all to do whatever you can in order to challenge your elected officials and leaders to intervene so that no one could say, as in 1915: the Armenians were massacred AND WE DID NOT KNOW.
May the Lord come to our rescue!
Mother Arousiag Sajonian
Armenian Sisters of the Immaculate Conception