Seventh-day Adventist church raided in Azerbaijan, is America next?

AZERBAIJAN: “You don’t need a licence to talk about chess or football, but you do about religion”
By Felix Corley, Forum 18 News Service

More than 15 police officers, as well as journalists with a video camera and a state religious affairs official raided the Saturday morning worship service of the Seventh-day Adventist congregation. Police questioned the ten church members present how much they were paid to be Christians, and two were given heavy fines, Protestants complained to Forum 18 News Service. Police insisted to Forum 18 the meeting had been illegal as the congregation is waiting for registration: “You don’t need a licence to talk about chess or football, but you do about religion.” Protestants complained about an Interior Ministry press release on the raid which said Adventists represent “a faith prohibited by law”. “Adventists have lived in Azerbaijan for more than 100 years and have never been banned,” Protestants told Forum 18. Fines for religious activity seem set to rise sharply if proposed amendments are approved in Parliament on 21 December. And a Muslim’s legal attempt to recover books confiscated by the State Committee for Work with Religious Organisations has been dismissed – despite the confiscations being against the Constitution and law.

After initially denying that police from his department had raided a Saturday morning Seventh-day Adventist worship service on 11 December, an officer of the 4th Department of Sumgait police told Forum 18 News Service that the service was raided because church members did not have state permission to meet. “They weren’t praying – they were holding lectures,” the officer – who would not give his name – told Forum 18 from Sumgait on 16 December. “That’s propaganda of a religion.” Asked whether police officers would have raided and the court would have handed down heavy fines if the meeting had been about football or chess, the officer responded: “You don’t need a licence to talk about chess or football, but you do about religion.”
No doubt similar things will be seen in the land of the free, and home of the brave before long.

This link will take you to the whole story: SDA church raided in Azerbaijan.

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