Azerbaijan is about the same size as the U.S. state of South Carolina.
At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 4:00 a.m. in Baku.
The C.I.A. reports that in one recent year Azerbaijan had 1.3 million landline phones and 7.7 million cell phones. The population is about 8 million.
The U.S.S.R. (often called “The Soviet Union”) was the largest communist country in the world. In the early 1990s, it broke up into many smaller countries. Azerbaijan was one of those countries. Today most of the people are Muslims.
More than 90% of the people in Azerbaijan say they are Muslim. But many do not take their faith seriously. Fewer than 10% are Christian.
Zoroastrianism was a main religion in Azerbaijan before the Muslims came. Today the people still honor traditions from Zoroastrianism. (See “Their Beliefs” for more information.)
Even though many people in Azerbaijan are not serious about their Muslim faith, many do not like it when a Muslim becomes a Christian. They think Islam is part of their culture. Friends and relatives discourage Muslims from following Christ. Officials sometimes give churches and Christians a hard time.
It is often difficult for young adult Christians to find someone to marry who also follows Christ. Since marriage is an important part of their culture, they are often urged to marry a Muslim.