Introduction / History Often people think that migrants in the West would prefer to live among their families and friends in the old country. This is not always the case. Many Azerbaijanis in Sweden are living there because of harsh, restrictive conditions in their homeland. In 2003 and 2004, more than 1,000 Azerbaijanis sought asylum in Sweden. These people were willing to leave family and friends to find a life in a place they don't know.
Despite Azerbaijan's economic prosperity, it is a country plagued by severe political and military corruption and a failure to preserve human rights. This situation gives some Azerbaijanis a desire to move to other countries like Sweden.
Where are they located? Azerbaijanis tend to live in the urban centers of Sweden. Sweden is also starting to have new arrivals live in settlements in the colder northern regions. There might be some Azerbaijanis there as well.
What are their lives like? Azerbaijanis are very passionate about their homeland and its hostile relationship with its neighbor, Armenia. Azerbaijanis held a protest rally in Goteborg, Sweden in August, 2014. More than a year earlier they had held another rally in Stockholm, in remembrance of a tragedy that occurred in 1992 in Azerbaijan.
What are their beliefs? Though the Azerbaijanis are mostly Shi'ite Muslim, they tend to be somewhat secular because of the decades of secularization from when they were part of the USSR.
What are their needs? Shi'ite Muslim Azerbaijanis seldom have the chance to hear that Jesus Christ saves sinners, though they understand that Jesus will return during the Second Coming. They honor Jesus, but they have not heard His life-changing teachings. There is freedom or religion in Sweden, so believers can go to them as ambassadors of Christ.
Prayer Points * Pray that as Azerbaijanis leave their homeland, they will seek a home with the Lord's family.
* Pray that Azerbaijanis in Sweden will be drawn by the love of the Lord to seek Him.
* Pray that the church in Sweden will see the Azerbaijanis in their midst and make loving efforts to help them not only come to Christ, but also to spread His fame to Azerbaijan.