Church Liquidation Decision to be made on July 31
As we reported in May, Greater Grace Church in Azerbaijan has been threatened with liquidation by the government under laws suppressing religious freedom. (To read our earlier message on Greater Grace Church and other persecution in the FSU, click here.)
Since then, God has graciously used the prayers and support of friends like you to open the door for hope.
The church’s appeal hearing was held on Tuesday, July 17, and the change in the court’s attitude was dramatic. Pastor Fuad of Greater Grace Church reports that the hearing was a real attempt to discover the truth. Unlike the previous hearing, the church’s attorney was allowed to present their arguments.
The Representative of the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations admitted that their only real complaint was that the committee did not like the church. The Representative further admitted that they were under “intense pressure from all over the world.”
After carefully listening to both sides, the judge postponed the decision until July 31.
Pastor Fuad thanks every friend of Russian Ministries who has created this “intense pressure” through their prayers and:
1,000 petitions to the Embassy of Azerbaijan in the U.S.
1,000 petitions to the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Germany
3,000+ petitions distributed to the U.S. Congress
An electronic petition to the U.S. Congress
Between now and July 31, please pray daily that the judge will rule in favor of Greater Grace Church, sending a signal to the State Committee that persecution of innocent Christians will not be tolerated.
Here are four more steps you can take right now to support Greater Grace Church and persecuted Christians across the former Soviet Union:
1. Pray for God’s protection for all believers in the FSU, for His intervention in the governments of Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, and other persecuting nations, and for freedom of religion and revival in the region.
2. Give to Russian Ministries to help support national leaders in their fight for religious freedom by continuing to provide Christian literature, training, and support to Christians, and especially pastors, in persecuted regions.
3. Contact the Embassy of Azerbaijan in the U.S. to protest the closure of Greater Grace Church and all other attempts to eradicate Christianity from their country, before July 31:
By email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
By phone: 1 202 337 35 00
By fax: 1 202 337 59 11
By mail: 2741 34th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
4. Learn more ways you can help persecuted believers in the former Soviet Union by contacting Wade Kusak, Russian Ministries’ Project Manager for Religious Freedom Issues in Eurasia, at: email@example.com.