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Azerbaijan Christians Appeal Closure Of Protestant Church
ICC Note:
Christians in Azerbaijan continue to fight the closure of their church.
By Stefan J. Bos
08/14/2012 Azerbaijan (BosNewsLife)- Devoted Christians on Tuesday, August 14, prepared to go to Azerbaijan’s Supreme Court after a lower tribunal upheld a decision to close down their Baku Greater Grace Protestant Church, adding to concerns about a reported crackdown on Protestants in Azerbaijan.
A panel of three judges at Baku Appeal Court, headed by Judge Seriyye Seyidova, rejected the Church’s appeal on July 31, the court said in published remarks.

“Many” Protestant communities “are among hundreds of religious communities, including mosques as well as Jehovah’s Witness communities,” whose re-registration applications were lodged before the controversial Religion Law’s deadline of the end of 2009, Forum 18 told BosNewsLife.
“These have been either rejected or not answered. The State Committee is known to have approved only six registration or re-registration applications since the beginning of 2012,” the well-informed group added.
Heavily Islamic Azerbaijan, which gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, is ruled by President Ilham Aliyev who has been criticized by the West over alleged human rights abuses. He denies wrongdoing, claiming to have introduced reforms after taking over from his autocratic-ruling father in 2003.

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