Source of persecution: Dictatorial paranoia
The majority of the population is Muslim and Christianity is associated with the country’s arch-enemy, Armenia. Azerbaijan is officially a secular state and the government is negative towards any kind of religion. The Committee on Religious Affairs controls almost everything. It is illegal for churches to meet if they are not registered, yet registration is almost impossible. In 2012, there were raids on Christian homes and churches. The Greater Grace Protestant Church was even liquidated in April 2012 with no formal justification.
- For Muslim converts in rural areas who face the most pressure; Islamic influence is growing in Azerbaijan
- For the many Christians who are unable to find or keep jobs and are watched closely by the secret services
- For pastors and church leaders being monitored by the authorities.