Azeri in Armenia

Main Language
Largest Religion
Islam (Shia)
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Azeri language belongs to the southwestern (Oguz) branch of the Turkic language family. There are two main subgroups of Azeri: Azerbaijani North and Azerbaijani South. The main differences are in the sounds and basic grammatical structure of the languages. Azeri has a written tradition that dates back to the fourteenth century. Arabic script is used in Iran and the Cyrillic alphabet is used in Azerbaijan.

While the origins of the Azerbaijanis, (also known as the Azeri), are unclear, we know that they have been subjected to numerous invasions throughout history. The homeland of the Azeris was first conquered by the Persians in the sixth century B.C. In the seventh century A.D., they were conquered by Arab Muslims and Islam was introduced. Although Armenians endured much persecution by the Arabs because of their Christianity, their Azeris neighbors became Muslims.

Present day Armenia is nestled between the nations of Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkey, and Georgia. Much of what is now eastern Turkey makes up historic Armenia.

Azerbaijani settlements in the Caucasus region (including both Armenia and Azerbaijan) were traditionally divided into makhelle, or villages. Azeri villages are made up of extended families. Armenia and Azerbaijan have had numerous wars where Azeris were driven from Armenia. One of them was in 1918-19. When the USSR was ready to dissolve in 1989, war between Armenia and Azerbaijan erupted again. About 200,000 Azerbaijanis fled from Armenia to Azerbaijan and Armenians in Azerbaijan fled to Armenia. War flared up again in the 2020s, only this time the Azeris prevailed, and Armenia was forced to cede them disputed land. Very few Azeris remain in Armenia. Those who are left are likely to be viewed with suspicion.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Today, most Azeris in Armenia live in rural areas where they try to keep a low profile, sometimes by changing their names. The few Azeris who remain are often married to Armenians. Others are too old or sick to move to Azerbaijan.

The Azeri diet consists mainly of rice pilaf and a variety of grilled and boiled meats including beef, goat and lamb. Traditional dishes include bozartma (mutton stew), dovga (a soup made from yogurt), meat and herbs. Tea and wine are popular drinks.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Armenia's Azerbaijanis are primarily Muslims of the Shia sect, but there are a number of Hanafite Muslims as well. Twenty percent of the Azerbaijani in Armenia are non-religious.

Islam among Azeris reflects historical ties that exist between Azerbaijan and Iran. Until the twentieth century, most Azerbaijanis identified themselves as Muslims rather than Azerbaijani or Turks. They believe that being a "spiritual community of Islam" was much more important than being a nation.

Among the Azeris, religious practices are less restrictive of women's activities than in Muslim countries. Many Azerbaijani women have jobs outside the home, and a few have attained leadership positions. However, some evidence of the traditional, restrictive female role remains.

What Are Their Needs?

Although this small group of Azeris lives in a predominantly Christian nation, the long standing bitterness between Muslims and Christians prevents them from receiving the gospel. The Bible and the JESUS Film are available in the Azeri language.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to use vibrant Christ followers to spread the gospel to the Azeris in Armenia.
Pray that God will open doors for Christian businessmen to share Christ with Azeris.
Pray for God to bring a vision for outreach and a genuine burden for the Azeris among believers.
Ask the Holy Spirit to soften their hearts towards Christians so that they will be receptive to the gospel.
Ask the Lord to raise strong local churches among Azeris in Armenia.

Scripture Prayers for the Azerbaijani in Armenia.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Azerbaijani
People Name in Country Azerbaijani
Natural Name Azeri
Pronunciation uh-ZARE-ee
Alternate Names Azerbaijan; Azeri Turk; Turkmen
Population this Country 14,000
Population all Countries 9,102,000
Total Countries 20
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 10528
ROP3 Code 100675
ROP25 Code 300626
ROP25 Name Azerbaijani (Azeri)
Country Armenia
Region Asia, Central
Continent Europe
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Scattered.   Source:  Ethnologue 2020
Country Armenia
Region Asia, Central
Continent Europe
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Scattered..   Source:  Ethnologue 2020
Primary Religion: Islam (Shia)
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
90.00 %
10.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Azerbaijani, North (14,000 speakers)
Language Code azj   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Azerbaijani, North (14,000 speakers)
Language Code azj   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Azerbaijani, North

Primary Language:  Azerbaijani, North

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1842-1891)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (2004)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1891-2014)
FCBH NT ( Online
YouVersion NT ( Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Video / Animation Create International
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Azerbaijani, North Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Love letter to you from scripture Father's Love Letter
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
Film / Video The Hope Video Mars Hill Media
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Android Bible app direct APK download SIL
Mobile App Android Bible app: Azerbaijani, North YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file Faith Comes by Hearing
Mobile App iOS Bible app: Azerbaijani, North YouVersion Bibles
Text / Printed Matter IBT, Russia - resources Institute for Bible Translation - Russia
Text / Printed Matter Jesus Messiah comic book General / Other
Text / Printed Matter Tools for faith conversations Campus Crusade for Christ
Photo Source Anonymous 
Map Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

Joshua Project logo    Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Contact Us   Copyright © 2024