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Police in Azerbaijan have threatened six Christians with criminal prosecution for sharing their beliefs with others and handing out religious literature. In Azerbaijan, all religious activity without state permission is illegal. Religious literature can only be given away or sold if it has passed through compulsory state censorship and only then in specialized state-approved shops. Heavy punishments are imposed for breaking these restrictions.

Three of the Christians were detained in Khachmaz Region on the morning of June 23. They were held until 1 a.m. the following morning. At last report, the believers were at home expecting to be summoned for further questioning. Three others were detained the month before on May 17 in the town of Kusar. A car belonging to one of the believers was confiscated along with Christian literature.

Thank the Lord for the faithfulness of these believers in Azerbaijan who have chosen to follow the Great Commission rather than the rules of men. Ask Him to strengthen their faith. Pray that they will not face charges or fines. Pray that their passion for Christ will be the light that draws others to Jesus (Matthew 5:14-16).

For more on the persecuted Church in Azerbaijan, please visit the Azerbaijan Country Report.

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
10,282,283 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Azerbaijani (91.6), Lezghin (2), Russian (1.3), Armenian (1.3), Talysh (1.3), other (2.4)

Religions (%)
Islam (97.3), Christianity (2.6), other (0.1)

Leader
President Ilham Aliyev (2003)

Government type
Presidential republic

Legal system
Civil law system

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Azerbaijan

Pray for peace within the hearts of the Azerbaijani people who are living amid political instability. May the country's governmental authorities be willing to grant Christians their fundamental freedoms, enabling them to worship freely and share their faith openly with others of their communities.

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