Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is arranging a pilgrimage next May in the beautiful land of Nagorno Karabakh to show their solidarity with the Armenian people as they celebrate 1700 years of Christianity. Armenia was the first nation in the world to embrace Christianity in 301 AD. The Armenia’s have suffered greatly over history. They were victims of the first genocide of the 20th century when one and a half million were killed by Turks and Western Armenia was annexed by Turkey.
In the 1920s–Stalin cut off Karabakh from Eastern Armenia and placed it as a separate enclave in Azerbaijan. The 150,000 Armenia’s living in this little land endured indescribable hardship when Azerbaijan tried to carry out ethnic cleansing in the 1990s.
A cease-fire currently prevails and the Armenia’s are trying to re-build their shattered lives and shattered land. Among the priorities are their churches. The pilgrimage will start with a service at the new beautiful little church of Lachin from where the pilgrims will walk to the historic town of Shushi for a service in the rebuilt church. Thereafter they will walk to the beautiful 12th century church at Ghandzasar in Northern Karabakh where the pilgrimage will end with a final service of worship and celebration.
The pilgrimage will begin on May 6 in Lachin and finish in Ghandzasar on May 13. Daily distances to be walked will not exceed 20 km (approximately 12/13 miles). Nights will be spent under canvass. A mountain rescue team will be supporting the pilgrimage and transporting the equipment so pilgrims will not have to carry their own supplies. The mountain rescue team will also kindly be arranging for food and providing guides–first aid support etc.
The cost of the pilgrimage for each pilgrim will be $200. This will include: travel from Yerevan to Lachin and Ghandzasar and back to Yerevan; food; costs for the mountain rescue team and their helpers; as well as a donation to the churches in Karabakh.
Participants will be expected to make their own travel arrangemen’s to and from Yerevan and to arrange for accommodation for themselves in Yerevan. However–local organizations will assist with arrangemen’s–ranging from the most affordable facilities to more "deluxe" alternatives.
Numbers are strictly limited to 70. Bookings will be taken at a first-come–first served basis so please book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. However–please bear in mind that physical fitness will be required both for the walking and for overnight camping.