PRAYER POINTS

  • Pray for Azerbaijan to continue to take a tough stance against terrorists. Pray that the government of Azerbaijan would remain aggressive in apprehending and prosecuting members of suspected terrorist groups.
     
  • Most Christians in Azerbaijan are Russian speaking. Pray that they would have real sensitivity and wisdom in evangelizing to the majority Muslim population
     
  • Pray that Christians in Azerbaijan would be able to reach people who don’t know God.
     
  • Pray that God will break down these barriers and prejudice so people can open their hearts and minds to Jesus.

 

Find ministries and organizations working in Algeria at Joshua Project | Algeria.

 

 

FACTS
Population: 9,340,000
Total People Groups: 39
Unreached People Groups: 23
Region: Central Asia
Official National Language: Azerbaijani (North)
Secondary National Language:
Religions: Islam 84.8%, Non-Religious 12.3%, Christianity 2.7%, Ethnic/Other 0.2%
Persecution Ranking: 25
Percentage of People in Poverty: 24%

LOCATION
Azerbaijan is located in Southwestern Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Russia, with a small European portion north of the Caucasus range. In 1991, Azerbaijan was the first Soviet republic to declare its independence. The Azeris have been oppressed throughout history by the Arabs, Persians, Turks and Russians. Recently Azerbaijan tensions with Armenia led to a full-scale war, fighting over who should own the Nagorno-Karabakh region. War and corruption have had a massive impact on the whole country and almost half of the population live in poverty. Local scientists consider the Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) (including Baku and Sumqayit) and the Caspian Sea to be the ecologically most devastated area in the world because of severe air, soil and water pollution.

RELIGION
According to official figures, approximately 96% of the population is Muslim. Azerbaijan is a secular country, in article 48 of its constitution ensures the liberty of worship to everyone. Everyone has a right to choose any faith, to adopt any religion or to not practice any religion, to express one's view on the religion and to spread it. Officially there has been “religious freedom” since then, but in reality Christianity is negatively associated with Russians and Armenians.

CHALLENGES FOR CHRISTIANS
According to paragraphs 1-3 of Article 18 of the Constitution the religion acts separately from the government, each religion is equal before the law and the propaganda of religions, abating human personality and contradicting to the principles of humanism is prohibited. Unfortunately most people think of Christianity as the religion of the Russians or Armenians who have invaded Azerbaijan in its past. Most towns and villages have never heard about Jesus and foreign missionaries aren't allowed to evangelize.


Sources: 24-7 Prayer, Operation World, Wikipedia, Country Reports on Terrorism 2007, International Religious Freedom Report 2007, Open Doors