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Why + how to pray for Azerbaijan?

Why pray for Azerbaijan?  A strategic land & people

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Discover how to best pray for Azerbaijan – with its many challenges, yet a growing Evangelical church

Learn about legislation banning religious literature and download a prayer resource to aid your prayers

Find out more about how you can get involved in mission in Azerbaijan and Central Asia

Last updated;  02 July 2021

Why pray for Azerbaijan?  0.05% of Azeri people are believers

Known as ‘The Land of Fire’ due to gas burning through fissures in hillsides. Its ethnic origins and language go back as far as Ancient Persia and the invading Oguz from Mongolia, who eventually settled in modern-day Turkey making these neighbouring countries close relatives, as they still are today.

There are 30 to 40 million Azerbaijanis in the world, but only 8 million are found in the nation of Azerbaijan, the rest live in other parts of Central Asia such as Iran, Georgia, Turkey and Russia. Azerbaijani believers make up only about 0.15% of that population at 15,000. Globally the picture is worse as believers make up only 0.05% of the total Azerbaijani population. This makes the Azerbaijanis one of the largest and least-reached people groups with the Gospel.

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Why pray for Azerbaijan?
Despite persecution, the evangelical church is growing

Despite persecution, the Evangelical Church in Azerbaijan is still growing. The church is small but has been growing steadily. A strongly evangelizing and envisioned church amongst the Azerbaijanis would have the potential to reach millions in similar language & culture groups i.e. they are a strategic people group.

Believers can lose their jobs or be imprisoned. As a result, it is very common for Azeris who hear the gospel, often through a relative from the capital or a visiting evangelist, to believe in Isa (Jesus), to read the Injil (New Testament), but remain ‘Secret Believers’ and never openly join a fellowship or tell others they are no longer a Muslim. Strange as it may seem to us, this can have a positive outcome. They are usually faithful in prayer & witness to relatives and neighbours yet are free of the trappings associated with ‘Christianity’.

Pray for Azerbaijan
Azeri primary school teacher - Pray for Azerbaijan video

I am going to pray for Azerbaijan – do believers suffer hardship and persecution?

A large percent of Azerbaijan’s revenue comes from its oil and gas exports; therefore, falling oil prices have taken a toll on the nation’s economy. In December 2015, the value of the Manat, Azerbaijan’s national currency, fell by 33 percent. Additionally, the nation’s ongoing conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region saps even more of its energy and income, resulting in rising prices for food, gas, and other goods, with social unrest also becoming more common.

Map of Azerbaijan - Christian mission

Following a harsh religion law passed in 2009, religious persecution in Azerbaijan has escalated. All religious groups must register with the government, but the registration process is very difficult. Few Christian communities achieve official registration, and the majority of Protestant denominations are still struggling to receive legal status.

In October 2015, religion law amendments were adopted to require religious groups to file reports on all of their activities and finances. Further amendments (since Dec 2015) allow the government to strip citizenship from anyone participating in “extremist” religious groups. The government also controls the publication, importation, and distribution of religious literature, which can be suspended at will.  Please do pray for Azerbaijan, that there will be more religious freedom soon.

Pray for Azerbaijan at a glance:
  • Population: 10 million
  • Area: 53,881 sq miles
  • Capital: Baku
  • Languages: Azerbaijani
  • Currency: Azerbaijani manat
  • Religion: Muslim (96.9%)
  • Believers:  15000 to 18000 (0.15%)
Group of me chatting and smoking at cafe - pray for Azerbaijan
Flag of Azerbaijan - Pray for Azerbaijan

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How can I best pray for Azerbaijan?

Praise and Prayer pointers


Praise God for the 15,000+ believers, and for the growth of the church in the face of persecution.


Thank God for the huge opportunity to reach many other culture groups through Azerbaijani believers.


Pray for the Azerbaijani government to overcome corruption and invest its current oil wealth in building infrastructure and other sources of income that will produce lasting benefits for the nation.


For an end to persecution of evangelical Christians in Azerbaijan, and the freedom to plant new churches, as well as print and distribute Scriptures and other Christian literature.


Pray for the Azerbaijan church to grow in spiritual maturity and help lead their Muslim neighbours to Christ, both in their communities and in nearby countries.


Pray for God to call workers to come who can start-up businesses, teach in universities or language schools and support local churches through discipleship and mentoring.

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