Captured Armenian pastor urges Armenian people to stop bloodshed and come to peace
A service was held at the House of Prayer of the Seventh-day Adventists in Baku, Trend reports.
Pastor of the Seventh-day Adventist Church of the Armenian Gyumri city Hovsep Sahakyan, who was captured during the hostilities in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, took part in the service.
The service was conducted by Elshan Jabbarov, pastor of the Seventh-day Adventist religious community of Baku, and Elshan Samadov, pastor of the Seventh-day Adventist religious community of Ganja.
"God does not want war,” Jabbarov said. “Today we are talking about peace. God does not want death. God wants salvation for everyone, peace for everyone on earth. Today, God calls us to be peacemakers."
Jabbarov added that if peace reigns inside of a person, this person will overcome all difficulties.
Armenian pastor Hovsep Sahakyan who took part in the service said that he was glad to be in the House of the Lord - the House of Prayer of the Seventh-day Adventists in Baku.
“I am a pastor,” the Armenian pastor said. “I have performed services in a church in Alaverdi city and then in Gyumri city since 2011. As a believer, a pastor, I have always wanted the Azerbaijani and Armenian peoples to live in peace. And the word of God speaks of peace. God wants peace and God wants us to live in peace. I am glad that God miraculously saved my life.”
“When they told me at the military commissariat that I must go to the front, I replied that I am a believer, I will not take up arms and will not kill because the commandment says - "Do not kill",” Sahakyan added. “But they told me it didn't matter.”
“I went there without a weapon, I thought that I would work in the hospital,” Sahakyan said. “When I was in Gubadli district and the shooting began, I was wounded - a shrapnel hit my leg. They wanted to transfer me to the hospital, but on the way to the hospital there was an accident. Everyone were killed, except for me, I survived."
“Saving my life, God gave me a new opportunity,” the Armenian pastor said. "I call on the two peoples to live in peace. If I had a choice, I would not choose war. I call on my people to stop the bloodshed and come to peace. I urge all believers who have been called to war not to take up arms and not to go to war."
The Armenian pastor added that he agrees that the Nagorno-Karabakh region is not the territory of Armenia.
"There were 60 people with me and I can say for sure that they did not want to fight,” the Armenian pastor said. “They wanted peace, they wanted to return to their houses, to their wives and children. My daughter is 9 months old. As much as I want to see her, they wanted to see their children too."
The Armenian pastor also expressed his disagreement with the position of the Patriarch of Armenia, who calls for war.
“When the believers are called to go to war, it is bad,” the Armenian pastor said. “Those who urge to kill say it out of their convictions, all responsibility is on them.”
Sahakyan stressed that he condemns the killings of Azerbaijani civilians by the Armenian Armed Forces in Ganja, Barda and other cities.
The Armenian pastor also said that the Azerbaijani Armed Forces do not fire at holy places and churches, and condemned the transformation of Azerbaijani mosques by the Armenians into a barns.
Sahakyan added that he was severely wounded and all conditions for treatment were created for him in Baku.
The Armenian pastor thanked the Azerbaijani government for the treatment and provision with everything necessary.