Two Armenian Churches will hold prayer services this week for the soldiers in Armenia and Artsakh who have been fighting in an ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan.
The current military conflict began in late September in the area known as Artsakh (formerly Nagorno-Karabakh), an area of mostly ethnic Armenians. The area was placed within the borders of Azerbaijan when it was part of the Soviet Union, but is governed by ethnic Armenians as the Republic of Artsakh. Tensions date back decades, and a six year war was fought from 1988-94
On Wednesday, Oct. 21, the St. Stephen’s Armenian Apostolic Church on Elton Avenue in Watertown, will host a “a prayer service to honor our fallen soldiers and those who continue to defend our homeland of Armenia and Artsakh,” according to the church’s Instagram account. The service will begin at 6 p.m.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be limited space for the service. St. Stephen’s is asking people to register to attend by 3 p.m. on Wednesday. The form can be found here: https://soorpstepanos.org/2020/10/05/church-service-reservation-form/. The service will also be live streamed on the St. Stephen’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/soorpstepanos.
On Thursday, Oct. 22, from 4:30-6 p.m., St. James Armenian Church on Mt. Auburn Street will host a “Gathering for Peace,” it announced on its Instagram page.
“Join us for a peaceful gathering to raise awareness, and stand in solidarity with Artsakh and Armenia,” the St. James Instagram post said. The gathering will be held outside in front of the Church at the corner of Mt. Auburn and School streets, and people will have flags and signs. Attendees will be required to wear face masks.
More information can be found on the post, below:
View this post on Instagram
GATHERING FOR PEACE – THIS THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22 Join us for a peaceful gathering to raise awareness, and stand in solidarity with Artsakh and Armenia. From 4:30 – 6 pm this Thursday afternoon, we will line our St. James property along Mount Auburn Street, holdings flags and posters, with the goal of raising awareness for, and standing in support of, Artsakh. 🔹 Please do not park in the School Street parking lot or stand along School Street. 🔹 We will line our property on Mount Auburn Street only, taking care not to block the sidewalks or walkways and not stepping into the street. We will end with a brief prayer at our Armenian Martyrs’ monument at 6:00 pm. 🔹 For everyone’s safety, masks are REQUIRED and social distancing will be monitored. 🔹 Bring your flags and posters! Artsakh, Armenian, and US flags welcomed and encouraged. 🔹 All posters and signs should have peaceful and relevant slogans, supporting Artsakh. Please ensure there is no violent, aggressive, or political content. 🔹 Suggested wording for posters: – Armenia Wants Peace – Peace for Armenians – Artsakh Strong – Defend Armenia – Recognize Artsakh (This is encouraged rather than saying ‘Artsakh is Armenia’) – No More Genocide – End the Cycle of Genocide – Silence is Acceptance – Never Again 🔹 We also welcome and encourage signs raising awareness for any community and country currently experiencing genocide – to view current alerts, visit www.genocidewatch.org. 🔹 If you cannot join us at St. James, raise awareness wherever you are! We invite our parishioners and families to join in from your respective locations – your front lawns or even gather in your local town square. Please continue to keep Artsakh, Armenia, and our people in your prayers. May God continue to bless, protect, and strengthen our sacred homeland, peace-loving citizens, and courageous defenders.