THE CHURCH AND OVERCOMING OF WAR

What does the Church do to overcome war situations in the world?

The Church, inter-ecclesiastical organizations, and the World Council of Churches make statements condemning wars and terrorism, calling for vigilance, restoration of peace, for providing assistance, support, and care to war victims and refugees.

For a peaceful settlement of conflicts Church ministers also negotiate with the representatives of responsible parties, interacting in the interreligious arena to put efforts also with the representatives of different religions for peace and security in the world.

In recent decades, the Supreme Patriarchs of the Armenian Apostolic Church have made serious efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh problem directly related to the Armenian people. The Russian Orthodox Church also has its immediate support for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

His Holiness Vazgen I, the late Catholicos of All Armenians, through the mediation of the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Alexy II, met with the chairman of the Caucasian Muslims Office, Allahshukur Pashazade. Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II also met with the same person. During the years of the Catholicosate of Karekin II, these meetings and negotiations continued with the mediation of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II, then of the Patriarch Kirill, the next leader of the Russian Church.

During these meetings, important statements were made on the peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. On April 26, 2010, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, left for Baku to participate in the World Summit of Religious Leaders, where His Holiness again voiced about the Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) problem and the importance of peace in the world. His Holiness also met with the President of Azerbaijan and gave his admonition to the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

These events show that the Church, through the spiritual arena, brings important efforts at stopping wars and establishing a godly peace in the life of humanity. However, in Christian countries, Church ministers also carry out their spiritual service in the army to encourage and strengthen the soldiers so that they maintain a high spirit, be vigilant in the devout mission to defend the homeland, faith, and sacred values and that with their service they be guardians of peace and prevent the resumption of war.

With the strengthening of faith, the spirit becomes invincible and carries out praiseworthy deeds. Some believe that armament race and the accumulation of weapons in the military arena can be decisive. Meanwhile, first of all, faith is triumphant, just as the young David, strengthened in the faith and with a simple weapon, defeated the giant Goliath and saved his people from the danger of war and preserved peace (1 Samuel 17: 4-10, 40-52).