The authorities report the suppression of illegal meetings involving minors
In the Garadagh district of Baku, the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations, together with the law enforcement agencies, conducted searches at two addresses.
The State Commetee reports that as a result, illegal meetings of members of the religious organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses were halted at an apartment owned by Solmaz Orujeva and at an apartment of Sevil Agalyeva in the village of Lokbatan.
The report said that at both addresses, the committee identified 33 people, including 10 young children, and found and seized a large number of reading materials containing propaganda for the sect.
Relevant procedures and a probe into the case are underway.
According to the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations, there are 17 religious organizations operating in the territory of Azerbaijan, of which the activity of 5-6 communities causes great suspicion, including “Jehovah’s Witnesses” and “Seventh-day Adventist Church.”
“Jehovah’s Witnesses” is a Christian denomination with about 8.5 million followers worldwide.
This is not the first case when members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses are persecuted in Azerbaijan. In 2010, the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan accused Jehovah’s Witnesses of cooperating with the Armenian Apostolic Church and the special services of Armenia, among other non-traditional religious organizations and churches.
Jehovah’s Witnesses do not participate in elections, refuse to perform the national anthem and give honor to state symbols.
They do not become members of any political parties or socio-political organizations. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not campaign for any political parties or nominate themselves during the elections.
Serving in the national army is unacceptable for them, even if refusal would cause criminal prosecution and imprisonment.