With a population of approximately 3 million people, this small nation has undergone more than its share of turmoil. It has been conquered by empire after empire, and an “ethnic cleansing” of about 2 million Armenians, who nearly all died following deportation by the Ottoman Empire in 1915, led to the coining of the term “genocide.”
Armenia also controls the Nagorno-Karabakh, a hotly contested enclave in Azerbaijan, where violence is still common. As a result of this conflict, Azerbaijan and Turkey instituted a trade blockade of Armenia, which severely limited its economic development, creating high levels of unemployment and poverty. As a result, more than a quarter of Armenia’s population has emigrated to neighboring countries since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Today, there are at least as many Armenians living abroad as in the country itself.
In January 2015, Armenia joined the Eurasian Economic Union alongside Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia. Since Armenia is heavily dependent on Russia, both economically and politically, the nation’s government decided to join this Moscow-led project after Russia offered them a budget price on its natural gas imports, rather than accepting a free-trade deal with the European Union.
Although Armenia is the world’s first officially Christian nation, the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church has become more of a cultural, rather than spiritual, institution. Most Armenians consider “Armenian” and “Christian” to be synonymous, but many of them have never been reached with the gospel. In order to share the hope of Christ with the unreached, we are preparing our School Without Walls (SWW) students in the nation for ministry in their own communities. In 2016 alone, we trained 130 students, who are now bringing the hope of the gospel to their spheres of influence!
- For peace and healing for all the people of Armenia, and an end to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.
- That God will add to the evangelical churches already in Armenia, and help Mission Eurasia provide the Scriptures these churches need for evangelism and discipleship.
- That God will use Next Generation leaders through SWW and other Mission Eurasia outreach initiatives to help Armenians realize their nationality doesn’t make them Christians, and that they need to put their faith in Christ individually.
- For the growth and development of SWW in Armenia, as it formulates a national vision and strategy, and partners with Armenian churches.
Katrin grew up in a Christian family. Her parents accepted Christ when she was little, and her father later became a pastor. However, Katrin struggled with temptations. She started secretly traveling to other cities to meet up with people she had met online. Her life was filled with emptiness that she was trying unsuccessfully to fill.
After some time she realized that her activity would not bring her fulfillment, and God transformed her life. In 2010 she committed her life to Christ, was baptized, and became involved in youth ministry. “Living with God is the most wonderful thing anyone can experience,” Katrin says. “Even though I grew up in a Christian family, I only came to know true joy in God four years ago. And every year my knowledge and understanding of God and His truth deepens.” Katrin’s newfound joy in Christ led her to join SWW at her church.
And now Katrin is following God’s call to be a missionary, because “there is nothing more beautiful than telling people about Christ and sharing His absolute and limitless love. Before, I was a slave to this world. But now God gives me strength and the ability to influence and change this world. I tell my friends and acquaintances about Christ. God has opened the door to their hearts, for me to tell them about Him. I sow, but God will make the seeds grow.”