Area: 86,600 sq km
Caucasian republic on the Caspian Sea, including a 5,632 sq km enclave, Nakhichevan, between Armenia and Iran, and the disputed 4,400 sq km region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Population: 8,933,928 Annual Growth: 1.11%
Official language: Azerbaijani Languages: 34 All languages
Largest Religion: Muslim
|Religion||Pop %||Ann Gr|
Draconian registration laws enacted in 2010 make life difficult not just for most Christian groups, but also for other faiths, including Muslims. The government seeks to regulate and restrict religious practice, which it evidently sees as a threat. There are now harsh legal restrictions against religious groups who teach children or who produce literature, against the involvement of foreigners for religious purposes and against developing property for worship purposes. Congregations can legally function only at the location where they are registered, and the registration process is highly obstructive and subject to extortion and manipulation by unscrupulous officials.
Nagorno-Karabakh is an almost entirely Armenian enclave existing as a de facto separate state within Azerbaijans borders, using Armenian money, licence plates and such. Escalating tensions began in 1987 and culminated in a war in 1990 with Nagorno-Karabakhs declaration of independence. A corridor between the enclave and Armenia exists, across which soldiers from both sides eye each other daily. Pray for:
a) Conflict to be avoided. Many fear an impending reawakening of hostilities as Azeri military spending and its ambitions peak. No one has committed to finding a political solution. Pray for the deliberate choice of all leaders to find a workable and peaceful solution.
b) The proclamation of the gospel. Orthodox churches have re-established, but there is little known non-Orthodox, evangelical witness, despite relative freedom to establish such. Pray for the good news to be made known, and for a renewal within the Orthodox Church, which is so deeply tied to Armenian identity.
For an additional 8 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Azerbaijan.