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Officials Deprive Christian Baby of Name

May 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Asia, Azerbaijan, Catholic, Persecution

Officials Deprive Christian Baby of Name

Officials Deprive Christian Baby of Name

Baptist community in Zaqatala region struggles against nationalist prejudice.

September 28 (CDN) — September 28 (Compass Direct News) – Born on June 18 to a Christian family in northern Azerbaijan, three-month-old Ilya Eyvazov still has no official name. Local authorities in the town of Aliabad at first refused to issue a birth certificate to the baby’s father, Novruz Eyvazov, when they saw his son’s name was the Russian form of Elijah. “They said it was because it was a Christian name,” said the Baptist church member. After a month, Novruz Eyvazov succeeded only in securing a birth certificate that left his son’s name blank. One official in the regional registration office in Zaqatala said that Baptists in Aliabad were facing difficulties because their attempt to take non-Azeri names was part of a plot to cede Zaqatala to neighboring Georgia. Little Ilya Eyvazov’s two older brothers, Moisei [Moses] and Luka, were also denied birth certificates by the municipality for some months. Considered part of a “foreign” religious sect, the three Baptist congregations in Aliabad face ongoing harassment from the local government, which has refused them official church registration for the past 13 years.

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