From July 26 to 28, 2019, Jehovah’s Witnesses in Azerbaijan held their annual convention at the Darnagul Ceremony House in the capital city of Baku. In this year of memorable international conventions, the regional convention in Baku was historic. It was the largest public convention ever held in Azerbaijan and the first time Azerbaijani and Russian congregations from the entire country attended a convention at the same time.
Although Azerbaijan only has about 1,500 publishers, the peak attendance for the convention was 1,938. A total of 33 were baptized. Brother Mark Sanderson was allowed special entry into the country to deliver talks at the convention. It was the first time a member of the Governing Body served a convention in Azerbaijan. We are grateful to the authorities for granting this permission.
The unity of the brothers and sisters gave an excellent witness. The administrator of the venue observed that during this convention he saw peace, love, and kindness among the Witnesses and that they really do practice what they preach.
Although Jehovah’s Witnesses still experience violations of religious freedom in Azerbaijan, authorities have progressively granted our brothers greater freedom to practice their faith. In November 2018, Azerbaijan gave Jehovah’s Witnesses full legal registration in Baku. This registration gives our brothers a stronger legal basis to openly worship in the city.
We rejoice with our brothers and sisters in Azerbaijan for these positive developments, including this recent milestone in their theocratic history. We pray for Jehovah’s continued blessing on the efforts to ‘legally establish the good news’ throughout Azerbaijan and worldwide.—Philippians 1:7.