A restrictive majority-Muslim country is getting good news – or rather, the Good News. The recent registration of a Bible Society in Azerbaijan, after a 20-year fight, has brought fresh optimism to the country’s minority Christians.
Terje Hartberg from United Bible Societies called it “a great development, which will start a new chapter in Bible ministry for all Christians in Azerbaijan.” However, all literature either printed or imported by the Bible Society will remain subject to approval by the government. Every publication is labeled with an official sticker, and distribution is only allowed at state-approved venues.
Rolf Zeegers, analyst at the World Watch Research unit of Open Doors, which monitors treatment of Christians worldwide, explained: “Tajikistan used to be rather relaxed towards religion until 2009,” he said. “Since 2009, the regime in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, has become much more authoritarian. All political opposition has been banned, and legislation has become more restrictive. In August 2011, more laws were passed that prohibit any [ministry to] youth…”
Even the Muslim majority are banned from doing youth work. “The focus of the government against youth work has affected summer camps, a traditional church activity that brings young
Christians together during the summer holidays. This can no longer be done openly, as the camps will be raided by the police. And it goes much further: Since August 2011, any youth
work is prohibited. And youth form about 50 percent also of the [Christians], so it has big consequences,” Zeegers added.
“Democracy is something that Azerbaijan has never known,” Zeegers said “The regime in Baku is just another post-Communist authoritarian bunch of rulers that are only after consolidating their
Source: Gleanings – Christianity Today
Bible Study: Revelation 14:6
PRAISE God for the opening of this window. Pray that at least parts of the Bible may be allowed and that Christian youth may grow in faith.