Ministry: Pastor Hamid Shabanov is free until end of trial

There’s good news coming out of Azerbaijan. Yesterday during court proceedings, 52-year-old Pastor Hamid Shabanov was released while his trial continues, reports MNN.

Shabanov was arrested June 20 when his home was searched by authorities. They were looking for drugs and weapons. According to police, they found a gun. Shabanov’s congregation and his family insist that the pistol a Prosecutor’s Office official claims to have found was planted during a search of his home.

Shabanov and his unregistered church have been the focus of the government because they continue to pray and worship God without registration. However, the government won’t give his church the registration it needs, despite many attempts to do so.

Slavic Gospel Association supports work in the region. SGA’s Joel Griffith says Pastor Shabanov’s trail has been delayed numerous times. “Pastor Shabanov’s attorney has been complaining about the numerous delays. He’s cited procedural irregularities that they’ve tried to bring to the court. It just remains to be seen exactly how this case is going to be adjudicated.”

Griffith says this is a big concern. “If Pastor Shabanov is actually convicted on this charge, he could spend up to three years in prison. This is really troubling how evangelical churches in Azerbaijan are undergoing this kind of pressure.”

Griffith explains why the evangelical churches are seeing this kind of pressure. “It’s very similar to what they call the ‘Stan’ countries of Central Asia. It’s a largely-Muslim country.”

While evangelicals have always faced difficulties, the trouble has grown. “Within the past year or two, it just seems like they’ve really stepped up oppression on evangelicals, and I really believe that’s by and large due to the Muslim influence in the country.”

This case hasn’t drawn the attention of the international media. Griffith would like that to change.

But in the meantime, Griffith is asking Christians to pray. “Pray that this investigation would be conducted in a forthright and honest manner and that these charges would be dropped. Pray that he would actually be exonerated by this. We need to pray that the hearts of the Azerbaijani leaders would be softened toward evangelical churches and allow freedom for the Gospel to be proclaimed.”

Griffith says, “The enemy tries to persecute the church, but the Lord has the last word and often ends up bringing greater growth to the church.”

Report from the Christian Telegraph


  1. Dear Brother and Sister in Christ,
    Loving greetings in the most wonderful and miracle working name of Lord Jesus Christ, The NAME that is Above all names. Much love, joy, peace and abundant blessings of our Lord be with you all the days of your life.
    Christian people of Pakistan need to hear The Truth (the Word of God). They are hungry and thirsty for God’s Love and His affection for them, they are waiting to experience His miraculous healing and saving power. The harvest is ready and we have chance to win souls for Jesus Christ.
    Pakistan is a hard talk Muslim state, as you have noticed from the news in the channels around the world. Pakistan although a Muslim state or `Fort of Islam’ (as it is known in the Muslim world) has many fundamental Muslim organizations, which are active in producing media programs to brainwash their viewers, they have different means and sources but one aim `Islam’. Smart idea to promote your ideology and theology. They have debating programs, teaching videos, translated material, which attracts their viewers, irritating sometimes but worth watching. Number of Christians in Pakistan is not growing, one of the main reason is the great impact of such programs and channels in their life. Such programs have raised complicated questions in the minds of Christians and seekers, this media approach has confused not only seekers but believers also, many nominal Christians have changed their faith and belief, just imagine what is happening in the seekers community.
    We don’t know how to cope with the previous effects but we are trying to handle the present situation in hope to change the future.
    Literacy rate in Pakistan is not accurate to discuss but according to the agreed information, we have 38% literate people in Pakistan, of course mostly living in the urban.
    The Task.
    We are using media approach to encourage Christians in their belief and faith in Christ Jesus.
    •Translated material (video programs, messages and movies) for believers and seekers.
    •Informative programs (messages, movies, documentaries and talk shows) for all our viewers (believers and non-believers).
    Something is better than nothing.
    Of course we don’t have much informative programs or material that can have tremendous effect on the people, so we are using the available opportunities (programs, messages, information etc.)to do our part in the Great Commission for Pakistan.
    Our Mission is to create harmony and peace among all denominations and sects in Christians and to help people to come closer and share ministerial resources, providing non political and non-sectarian platform where they come and worship together and pray for prosperity, solidarity and good governance of Pakistan. Our mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ at its original meanings in Pakistan’s native language by using every Audio/video medium, so that people would receive Jesus as their personal savior.
    Our mission is to lift up depressed people of the community by giving them education, shelter, technical education and food without any discrimination of Religion, Cast and Color.
    Our vision is to be more effective in the Great Commission for Pakistan, we would like to produce your material (programs, messages, movies etc.) for our viewers as believe is the need for our people today.
    Who are we?
    The name of our ministry is “Saint Luke Ministries Pakistan”. We are committed to the work for the Lord by providing high quality NLE, Video Translation, Video Subtitling, Video Voice Over and Books Translation. We are running our Ministries Cable TV in Pakistan Faisalbad City and around the Villages. Nearest One Million people are watch Cable TV (FTN) Faith Television Network. And we want extend this TV all over in Pakistan. But we need Teaching programs and messages and other use full material that will be helpful for Christian. They properly understand. We also the translate the Message of Sister Choo Thomas (Heaven is so Real) we voice over and sub title this message people like very much. We need to change the lives and wining the souls. We know that media is very power full medium for preaching the Gospel. But people cannot understand English language and other language. This time we need your prayers and your support. Because, we have no studio and even we have no proper studio equipments and we must need 2 to 4 Multimedia Projectors that will be use there where our cable TV this time not running.

    In Pakistan almost every family, whether rich or poor has at least one television set and a cable connection, because it is more of a fashion here than a necessity. These channels are watched by millions (Christians and non Christians) who daily spend at least 5-6- hours with interest.
    The work, which we are doing is important and satisfactory, how do we know? Through the response we receive by mails and calls almost every day from the channels and viewers.
    Our ministry is interested to provide you a chance to reach the millions of Christians and non Christians in Pakistan, if you would like your programs to be translated into Urdu (languages of Pakistan), please let us know.
    Please consider our aim or proposal prayerfully. In hope of positive response. Please pray and support for our Education project, Health Project, Helping the Hunger people and orphans. This time we really need your help we are waiting for your reply.
    If you have question concerning our vision, please do contact us for more information or for extra information, if you like to see our samples, we will arrange for you.
    Thank you and God bless you.
    With Beast Regards

    Dildar Pervez
    Saint Luke Ministries Pakistan
    C/o Mr. Bethel P. Baghat
    House # 214 A Street # 36
    Bahar Colony # 1 Bethlehem Road
    Kot Lakhpat, Lahore 54770 Pakistan.
    Cell# 0092-300-6263001
    Ph.# 0092-42-8487789

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.