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Christian Names Not Allowed

While we are bemoaning the removal of the Ten Commandments from the public square, Christians in Azerbaijan have a different problem, the removal of Christian names from the public square.

Apparently some predominately Muslim localities are denying birth certificates to families who want to give Christian names to their children. Luke and Moses have recently been found quite problematic.

"Luka is not an Azerbaijani name," Mehman Soltanov of the Justice Ministry's civil registration department told Forum 18 from Baku on 1 December. "Why did they choose a religious name?" Soltanov, who wrote to tell Luka's father Novruz Eyvazov on 5 April that he had issued "appropriate instructions" to Kalashova's office, speculated to Forum 18 that it was not the parents who had chosen this name but "some religious sect".

Indeed, in her 1 May response to Novruz Eyvazov, which Forum 18 has seen, Kalashova complained that "during the chaos and anarchy in the country in 1989-90, foreign missionaries came to the village of Aliabad and tried to conduct subversive activity, spreading the Christian faith of the Baptist sect among the population, and tried to change surnames and first names, changing them into Georgian and Christian names, strengthening separatist sentiment and setting friend against friend". She claimed local villagers had protested against such activity. She asked Eyvazov to "respect and honour the desire and wish of the inhabitants of Aliabad".

The U.S. is another story. Christians have a stranglehold on boys' names according to the social security administration, claiming 90% of the top ten with Jacob toping the popularity list in 2003, but girls names are another story, with Emily, Emma, and Madison at the top. Christians can only lay claim to Hannah and Elizabeth at #4 and #9 respectively. Mary doesn't even make the top ten.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 4, 2004 5:06 PM.

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