Muslims in Ramadan 19

Believers in Azerbaijan are facing increased pressure from Government. Christian activity is negatively associated with “foreign” oppression (Russian imperialism, Armenian enmity and Western colonialism) and is subject to intimidation, obstruction and outright persecution. The constitution guarantees the right to freedom of religion, but all religious communities must register with government. The registration process is difficult and subject to extortion and manipulation by some officials. Unregistered religious activities are punishable, as are religious meetings for children. It is illegal to produce, import and distribute religious literature not approved by government, and foreigners who speak of their beliefs to others can be punished and deported. But despite all this, the number of believers continues to grow, many are active in outreach; and there is relative freedom to share the gospel sensitively.

Currently the majority of believers reside in the capital, with only a few small fellowships and scattered believers in the regions. Most believers are connected to a few larger churches which were established during the time of relative freedom after the fall of the Soviet Union. There is also a growing house church network. A few Azerbaijanis have also moved to neighboring countries where Azerbaijanis and other Central Asian reside, to share the Good News.

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