Armenia is one of the first nations to formally adopt Christianity (early 4th century). Despite periods of autonomy, over the centuries Armenia came under the sway of various empires including the Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Persian, and Ottoman. The Ottomans ceded the eastern area of Armenia to Russia in 1828; this portion declared its independence in 1918, but was conquered by the Soviet Red Army in 1920.
In 1988, a devastating earthquake struck Armenia, killing 25,000 people and hundreds of thousands homeless. Recovery took a significant amount of time due to the extensive damage. Today, leaders remain preoccupied by the long conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily Armenian-populated region, assigned to Soviet Azerbaijan in the 1920s by Moscow. Armenia and Azerbaijan began fighting over the area in 1988; the struggle escalated after both countries attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By May 1994, when a trilateral cease-fire between Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Nagorno-Karabakh took hold, ethnic Armenian forces held not only Nagorno-Karabakh but also seven surrounding regions – approximately 14 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory. The economies of both sides have been hurt by their inability to make substantial progress toward a peaceful resolution. In January 2015, Armenia joined Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan as a member of the Eurasian Economic Union.
SGA partners help sponsor significant children’s ministry including summer camps, Immanuel’s Child Christmas outreach and Orphans Reborn. Evangelical churches are a tiny minority, and SGA helps sponsor missionary pastors to plant new churches and reach the lost with the Gospel.