KESTON NEWS SERVICE
Issue 10, Article 1, 29 September 2000

Immediate reporting on violations of religious liberty and on religion in
communist and post-communist lands.
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Friday 29 September 2000
AZERBAIJAN: OBSTRUCTION TO BAPTIST REGISTRATION
APPLICATION?

by Felix Corley, Keston News Service

Veteran registration `refuseniks' of the Baptist church in the northern
Azerbaijani town of Aliabad had hoped to lodge their latest registration
application with the government's Administration for Religious Affairs in Baku
today, 29 September.

However, as Azerbaijan's Baptist leader ILYA ZENCHENKO told Keston
News Service from Baku today, when he called to say he was on his way
as agreed he was told to ring again on Monday to arrange another time to visit.
Zenchenko fears this might represent the start of further delaying tactics on the
part of the authorities, which have refused to register the congregation for the
past five years (see KNS 8 September 2000).

Zenchenko told Keston that the Aliabad church finalised its registration
application on 25 September and earlier in the week he had agreed the date and
time of the meeting to lodge them with Administration official ALEKSANDR
KOZLOV, who handles Christian affairs. But Kozlov pleaded `urgent business'
when Zenchenko called him this afternoon half an hour before the scheduled
meeting. (END)