Azerbaijan: Is Confiscating Religious Literature Censorship?
By Dan Wooding Founder of ASSIST Ministries
AZERBAIJAN (ANS) -- Azerbaijani customs and secret police officers spent more than six hours searching a family minibus returning from Russia in late September, seizing religious literature they found hidden and confiscating the van and the driver's passport, members of the Byakov family told Forum 18 News Service.
Ironic border sign
According a story by Felix Corley, one copy of each book and magazine has been sent to the State Committee for Work with Religious Organisations in Baku for “religious expert analysis”.
“Azerbaijan bans the import of religious literature without State Committee permission,” said Corley.
After five months, a car confiscated from other Baptists after religious literature was found in it has been returned, but a criminal case against the three for “illegal” religious literature distribution continues.
“Claiming that censorship has been abolished in Azerbaijan, Prosecutor Zahid Valiyev denied to Forum 18 that confiscating religious literature represents censorship,” added Corley.
Dan Wooding, 71, who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, is an award winning British journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for 49 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS) and he hosts the weekly “Front Page Radio” show on the KWVE Radio Network in Southern California and which is also carried throughout the United States and around the world. Besides this, Wooding is a host for His Channel Live, which is carried via the Internet to some 192 countries. Dan recently received two top media awards -- the “Passion for the Persecuted” award from Open Doors US, and as one of the top “Newsmakers of 2011” from Plain Truth magazine. He is the author of some 45 books, the latest of which is “Caped Crusader: Rick Wakeman in the 1970s.” To order a copy, go to: Caped Crusader - Amazon