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Friday, February 03, 2017
January 24, 2017
Hamid (left) from north Azerbaijan has been banned from holding church meetings
– yet again. The Baptist leader has just been told his church is illegal because
it’s not registered, even though he’s been trying to register it for 20
In the latest assault on his church’s religious freedom, police raided a
prayer meeting at Pastor Hamid’s home and held those present for several hours,
including the children.
Please pray for Pastor Hamid Shabanov and his church as they consider how
to respond to this latest ban.
After the raid on Pastor Hamid’s home in Aliabad, Zakatala district, in
late-November, he was one of 26 adults taken in for questioning. In December,
Hamid and another church member were formally charged with holding an illegal
meeting, convicted and issued with a fine – in a 15-minute hearing.
Officials say Hamid will be fined again if his church continues to meet.
The church has lodged an appeal with the authorities in Baku. Last year was
declared a ‘Year of Tolerance’ by President Ilham Aliyev.
Baptists in Aliabad have suffered years of harassment and discrimination
from local officials.