Censorship in Azerbaijan is crippling for the church

By October 2, 2013

AzerbaijanMapAzerbaijan (MNN)-For years many have been intrigued by novels such as Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and George Orwell’s 1984. More recently Americans have eaten up movies like The Book of Eli and Equilibrium.

These are stories of total government control and oppression. In these stories, written works aren’t allowed. While fictional in these stories, this is actually happening.

Open Doors USA reports Azerbaijan is facing this very scenario. Censorship has become increasingly restrictive in recent years. Stricter laws and codes have been enforced to progress this control. While the country still has access to books and other media, it is extremely regulated.

The State Committee is need for the possession, importation, or reproduction of any work. Every title must be inspected. This State Committee also sets the limit to how many of any approved title is allowed. Any book sent to Azerbaijan has to be inspected before it can be released. At Airports, too, inspection of books has become regular routine.

Anyone found with illegal material is subject to punishment including the confiscation of the text, raids, detentions, and fines.

This is a big problem for Christians. Even the Bible is condemned to these limitations. Most religious material must be approved. This includes other media, too. This ban and limitation on religious texts including the Bible and the Koran has been set in place since 2008.

Even internally it is difficult to produce copies of the Bible. Because printing and photocopy shops must get permission before they print anything, they usually will refuse to copy the Bible. This is because the State Committee usually refuses consent.

Religion overall is already looked down upon by the government. All things religious are controlled by the Committee on Religious Affairs. The government and the people of Azerbaijan are especially harsh towards Christians. This is largely because Christianity associated with Armenia, Azerbaijan’s biggest enemy.

This country needs prayer. We can rejoice that the church is still growing amidst oppression. But as more and more citizens become Christians, the need for Bibles increases. Pray that the church continue to receive converts, and that Christians in this country will grow in their faith in light of the oppression of the government. Pray that the word will not be stopped despite the government’s regulation.

The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is coming next month. Open Doors is providing a free prayer kit. Get yours here.

One Comment

  • KL Angora says:

    Most Holy God bless u, I share a vision of my wife (a diplomat) who was lifted up in heaven on 2nd Jan 2014 stood in front of throne and God spoke to her in loud and furious voice that go on Earth back and tell the people that something Unique will happen on Earth in May 2014 which never happened before. Save the people who wana be saved and leave the rest. She did not share this vision except me to anyone because already many people told this kind of vision but God had mercy and gave more time to the world to be prepared for heaven but this time He was not looking in the mood to give more time and Grace. So I wana share it with no discrimination of caste or religion, white or black, rich or poor, innocent or sinner, king or beggar. It is the Will of Lord Jesus Christ to tell the message of deliverance to everyone not any particular group of people. To the workers of Lord Jesus Christ, I request do it with the speed of racehorse not at the pace of snail or tortoise. Spend much money on big conventions, seminars not only on Sunday but 24×7 encourage each other and try to be philanthropists. Don’t hate anyone but give the message of God to everyone. Any one who read this message, don’t care the people what they do around u but seek the Will of God in ur lives He will tell u what to do. KL Angora

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