CNEWA Canada

Glimmers of Light in Armenia

“This endless war is like the sword of Damocles,” says 40-year-old Aida Adamyan of the contested region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the Caucasus. “It’s hanging over our heads.

“I have gone through three wars, but would have never imagined something like this. It’s indescribable. … We have always had the fear of a large-scale war. We were aware of it; it was expected as the conflict was not entirely solved. But we never thought it would be so intense.”

The only glimmers of light thus far, she says, are her encounters with the church.

“I don’t know what I would do if not for these people and for Caritas Armenia. I used to think there were no good people left in this world,” she says, “but it’s certainly not true. Just a few words with Father Grigor Mkrtchyan strengthens me. … Perhaps our faith in God helps us not to go crazy during these hard times.”

Caritas Armenia helps displaced people during Nagorno-Karabakh war
Caritas Armenia workers distribute packages of urgently needed hygiene items and winter blankets to more than 600 families displaced last fall during the Nagorno-Karabakh war. (photo: Courtesy of Caritas Armenia)

The president of Caritas Armenia, Archbishop Raphael Minassian, champions the charitable efforts of this instrument of the small Catholic community in Armenia. Caritas Armenia works for the common good of all Armenians, as it extends a helping hand to all in solidarity, encouraging them to persevere, despite all the obstacles of life.

As the shepherd of a widely scattered flock of Armenian Catholics living in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and the Russian Federation, Archbishop Minassian feels keenly the unique fears and needs of the Armenian people, particularly in light of the many tragedies that have devastated them in the past 100 years or so. He is certain God does not abandon his children.

“The sorrow has come to all of us. … We must overcome it and help each other go through this black streak as soon as possible. God tests our faith and wants us to pass through it to revive and strengthen our faith.

“I am pretty sure God will not forget his children.”

See the most recent edition of ONE magazine to read more of the work of CNEWA’s partner, Caritas Armenia, in this ancient Christian land. 

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