NCC Condemns Blockade on Armenian Access Road

NCC Condemns Blockade on Armenian Access Road

On the morning of December 12, Azerbaijani activists and soldiers set up a blockade on the road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia, and thus to the rest of the world. Their action has caused widespread hardship among Armenian citizens.

The sole road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia has disrupted access to essential goods and services for tens of thousands of ethnic Armenians living there, according to Human Rights Watch.

Armenian residents of Karabakh have been stranded in Armenia, unable to return home. Karabakh health authorities are unable to transport patients to Armenia for treatment. Local authorities are warning of a humanitarian disaster if Nagorno-Karabakh remains cut off from fuel, medicine, food, and other vital supplies from the outside world.

The road, which is now blocked by activists and Russian peace-keeping forces, also prevents Nagorno-Karabakh residents from leaving the region; more than a thousand people reported to be stranded on one side of the road or the other are unable to reach their homes. Among them, dozens of children who had traveled to Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, on a school trip and are now blocked from returning to their parents and homes.

NCC issued the statement below on December 21:

Deuteronomy 10:17-18

17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, 18 who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing.

The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA strongly condemns the actions by Azerbaijan that have cut off civilians in need in Artsakh/Nagorno-Karabakh. In the season when we celebrate the birth of Jesus in a cold stable, it is particularly horrific that civilians are being cut off in the middle of winter. We stand with the Armenian Church and add our voices to those of the World Council of Churches, Pope Francis, and the Conference of European Churches. We call on the United States and its international allies to immediately pressure Azerbaijan to lift its unjust blockade and to allow food, medical supplies, and other essential resources to flow unimpeded.

For further reading: