With thousands of ethnic Armenians fleeing Nagorno-Karabakh, chaos and tragedy abound. Tens of thousands have escaped the region, flooding into Armenia days after Azerbaijan attacked and overtook the land; the government of Nagorno-Karabakh has also disbanded. Joel Veldkamp, head of international communications for Christian Solidarity International, is a tireless advocate for preserving Christian heritage and a keen observer of the geopolitical turmoil in the region.
Veldkamp has issued concerns and warnings about the escalating conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh over the past nine months, as Azerbaijan blocked the Lachin corridor, the only road connecting Armenia with Nagorno-Karabakh, last December, cutting the population off from food and medicine. Months later, ethnic Armenians are now fleeing their homes — and lives.
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“It’s our worst nightmare come to life right before our eyes,” Veldkamp told CBN Digital. “We saw it coming, we warned people it was coming, the Armenians warned people that it was coming, and we tried to amplify their voices as much as we could.” He expressed frustration and heartache over the dire consequences of this crisis, especially for the ethnic Armenian population.
His comments also underscored the significance of historic Christian heritage embedded in Nagorno-Karabakh. “The destruction of the Christian heritage of this land is going to be total,” emphasizing the cultural and historical losses being incurred amidst the conflict. Joel also sheds light on the role of geopolitics, particularly the interests of the Biden administration and Turkey, in ignoring and exacerbating the crisis. His plea for international action and his message to President Joe Biden convey the urgency of the situation and the need for a change in approach to protect the Armenian people. Watch Veldkamp break down the history surrounding the Armenian genocide as well.