Summary Most of the Azerbaijanis in Canada live in Toronto. There have been five waves of Azerbaijanis going to Canada, and the first wave was in the 1930s. Traditionally Canada has been willing to take refugees from dangerous parts of the world, and most Azerbaijanis have fled to Canada because of political instability or war such as the Iranian Revolution in 1979 or the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia from 1988-92.
Being small in number, the Azerbaijanis have needed to blend into the ways of Canada, yet they do not forget their own unique culture. Azerbaijanis speak a language that is Turkic, but unlike most other Turkic peoples, they are Shi'ite, not Sunni Muslims. Every year they hold the Novruz Bayrami festival, a a celebration of both the coming of spring and the new year. They celebrate with their own music, dance, and food.
Ministry Obstacles Christians often are fearful of Muslims, even in countries such as Canada. Love casts out all fear.
Outreach Ideas Azerbaijanis have entered Canada at different times, which means that the degree they are acculturated is different for different generations. Those who take the gospel to them need to emphasize the centrality of Christ, then focus on Him becoming our identity.
Pray for the followers of Christ There are only about 50 Azerbaijanis in Canada who follow Jesus. Pray that they will stay connected with their community and be salt and light to their Shi'ite Muslim neighbors and family members.
Pray for the entire people group * Pray for a Christ-ward movement among Azerbaijanis that will result in fellowships of believers in Azerbaijan and Iran.