Despite religious pressures, Azerbaijani Christians live winsomely for Jesus

By December 15, 2023

Azerbaijan (MNN) — Last week, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released a report detailing severe religious freedom violations in Azerbaijan. The USCIRF report recommends the U.S. State Department include Azerbaijan on its Special Watch List.

Azerbaijan is a Muslim-majority country. Eric Mock with Slavic Gospel Association (SGA) says, as such, “There are times [when] there are missionaries and pastors who are beaten for their faith, who pray over and over that their summer camp or their Christmas outreach can happen without violence. So it is very hard for them.

“But as I say that, at the same time, I can also tell you that in some of these difficult settings, the positive report that many of the Christian believers have among the community protects them from that violence.”

Flag of Azerbaijan (Photo courtesy of Hikmat Gafarzada/Unsplash)

In several Azerbaijan villages, Christians are winsomely living out the Gospel. Their Muslim neighbors notice their examples of faithfulness and positive impact on the community.

Believers and churches supported by SGA are caring for the sick, orphans, and widows, showing God’s love to troublesome kids, and giving aid to struggling families.

In one village, Mock says there was “a mother that has not fed their child in two days that’s wailing in the background. The pastor heard about that, and they showed up with food, diapers, and formula. All of a sudden, this child has a chance. His mother has a chance.”

In these outreaches, Azerbaijani Christians are building relationships and even answering questions about the Bible.

“They want to be witnesses for Christ wherever they are, so we don’t wait for the winds of political change. What we do is we’re faithful in the communities that God has placed us into.”

Ask God to give local Christians the courage and wisdom to share biblical truth, even in the midst of challenges. Pray for Azerbaijanis to find hope in the Gospel.






Header photo courtesy of Zaur Ibrahimov/Unsplash.

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