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anonymous  October 17, 2007 10:37 AM

AZERBAIJAN UPDATE: Imprisoned Baptist Pastor's Appeal Rejected - Forum 18 News
On October 3, the Sheki Appeal Court in Azerbaijan rejected Pastor Zaur Baleav's appeal to have his two-year prison sentence overturned. According to Forum 18 News Service, the head of the Baptist Union, Ilya Zenchenko, said, "We are stunned at the result the court handed down. We don't know what to do. It is a tragedy for his wife and children. It was all over in two minutes. Zaur's son is distressed, complaining that there is no hope and no law in Azerbaijan. He is very young, but his emotional reaction is understandable." Pray the Holy Spirit encourages Pastor Balaev, his family and believers in Azerbaijan. Ask God to use his testimony to draw non-believers into fellowship with Him. Hebrews 13:5,6; Isaiah 54:17
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anonymous  January 01, 2008 5:44 AM

There are now Azeri evangelical churches and possibly 2,000azeri believers in the country - a 50-fold increase since 1990. Christianity is associated with Russian imperialism and the Armenian occupation of much of Azeri territory. Post-independence openness to the gospel has been countered by resentment, rising nationalism, legal restrictions on evangelism aimed at Muslims and the propaganda of Islamists.

Population 8 million (5% Christian) Quote from the  Bible Database.  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
Non Intersession~ January 27, 2008 3:43 PM

It is a pleasure to finally meet you and Michael on this rainy afternoon. I thought I would post here after seeing the topic. My name is Lynishka (Lyn) M. Kane and I joined a month or so ago, but have been pretty busy. Have a  bit of time now. I can wholly relate to  this site you have here because my paternal grandparents were from Tblisi, Georgia and came to America in 1910 on the Leo Tolstoy Foundation Grant for Persecuted Christians. Tolstoy wrote at length towards the last 3 years of his life about my  'sect', if you will, I am not a practicer with others, but   am of the Molokan faith, which means' Milk drinkers' in Russian. There was much tragedy for my grandmother at that time, her 2 brothers knew Joseph Stalin and his brother (who  lived in Baku), a year before she immigrated, by 'force' from the White Army  AND the Orthodox Church,  her brothers were killed before her very own eyes because they would not joint the early inception of the revolution. My grandmother also had a small son, only 2, taken from her arms in the streets of Tiblisi by  2 priests because she would not sign the cross properly to them as they were walking by. In those days,  you did what the church said or  you were singled out.  The Molokans, who believe in a glass of milk  (lol), a bible and a candle.& above all, No priest and no orders from a church on how to pray. Leo Tolstoy was so impressed with their simplicity that he  gave up all of his landholdings to his serfs, which enraged his wife, Sofia and his children, and for  the remainder of his life, he   wandered the country side. Anyway, my Baba was told by the cossacks, the  Orthodox Church, AND Stalin's men that they would find her and kill her whole family.. Now, this was 3 sectors of the country that had made these threats, and  she never spoke above a few decimals in public for the rest of her life. They moved to  San Francisco, and my grandfather went  mad from the experience, he was a  good provider, but did not fit into American ways.  He was instituionalized and my Grandmother raised 6 children on Russian hill in San Francisco by taking in  the  Linen of Wealthy  people  in SF, I remember the linen flapping in the wind high above the city as she would sing me Kalinka before my nap. My reason for explaining all of this, is because my grandmother was an integral part of the small church that began in SF in 1920 and everyone in all of the pictures looks like someone is going to POP up any minute..  I felt the fear and carry it with me to this day.  But being God fearing, that takes  away any serious problems in that regard. I am active in speaking with  people in the Georgian area and have met many people thru the computer  that still whisper, EVERYWHERE.. We are blessed to speak OUT! God Blessses us all.. sorry for droning on, but this is my introduction, if you will.. and as my Baba would say as we would leave her side, no matter how long, or how far.. 'I kiss Your Heart'  Lynn M. Kane ~.~ P.S.. as for her children, 2 became very successful in the music field, my Aunt Tanya played for the   Prague Orchestra for years and my  Uncle George Alexander (changed from Afinsoff) went and did BBC broadcasts all over the world during the 2nd world war and sang the title song in the movie ElDorado starring John Wayne and Robert Mitchum,  he still travels, at 83 to  Tblisi once every other year to perform there..  Now as for me? I sing like a wounded moose! lol.. Good nite everyone..   [ send green star]  [ accepted]
anonymous  March 28, 2008 6:01 AM

UPDATE: Baptist Pastor Released from Prison " VOM Sources
On March 19, Baptist Pastor Zaur Balaev was released from prison in Azerbaijan, under a presidential amnesty on Novruz Bairam, a holiday marking the beginning of spring. The Voice of the Martyrs contacts reported Pastor Balaev was met by his son and Ilya Zenchenko, head of the Baptist Union. "When Balaev was released, journalists asked whether he was feeling grateful to Azerbaijan's president for his release. Zaur answered that he always in everything feels grateful to Jesus only and no one else. Journalists immediately quit shooting (footage) of him," VOM contacts said. The Voice of the Martyrs rejoices with Pastor Balaev and his family on his release. We encourage you to continue praying for their protection and wisdom as he returns home to his family and congregation. Ask God to give him discernment and favor. Isaiah 54:17
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 August 02, 2012 2:29 AM

Azerbaijan - Judge Decides Fate of ‘Liquidated’ Church
On April 25 a lower court ordered the closure of the Greater Grace Protestant Church in Bakut; this means that any church activity is illegal and that its members are subject to prosecution. The church appealed and petitioned their case before a judge on July 31; they are now awaiting the outcome.
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