Azerbaijan (MNN) — By mid-November, Azerbaijan's parliament will have adopted stricter amendments for those who produce or distribute religious literature.
Heftier fines and long prison sentences will now be the punishment for those who do not submit their religious literature to compulsory state censorship before producing or distributing it, according to Voice of the Martyrs, Canada.
Prison sentences will be as long as five years, and fines will be as high as nine years' official minimum wages, reports Forum 18 News.
The new restrictions come just months after an amendment made to Azerbaijan's Religion Law. In June, the nation invoked a requirement for all religious communities that 50 adults must state that they are founders in order for the group to apply for registration.
Over the course of less than 20 years, Azerbaijan has created a Religion Law and added 13 amendments to it, reports Forum 18. The law tightens its grip around religious necks each time an amendment is added, keeping Azerbaijan in the top 25 Most Persecuted countries in the world.
Parliament is set to discuss the new restrictions around November 15. They are expected to adopt the amendments in one reading.
Pray that these restrictions would not hinder the spread of Christian materials, and more importantly the spread of the Gospel, in any way. Pray that the church would continue to grow in Azerbaijan despite increased persecution and pressure.
VOM, Canada has created a report regarding Azerbaijan's relation to Christians. View it here.