Rabbi leads US evangelicals in visit to Muslim Azerbaijan

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A group of evangelical pastors from the US is visiting the predominantly Muslim Shiite nation of Azerbaijan to promote interfaith dialogue and highlight cooperation with Israel.

There have been similar outreach efforts with Arab Gulf leaders seeking to strengthen ties with the Trump administration through his evangelical base of supporters.

Unlike Arab Gulf states, Azerbaijan — which shares borders with Russia and Iran — already has diplomatic relations with Israel, its national carrier flies direct to Tel Aviv and its leaders hosted Israel’s prime minister in 2016.

New York-based Rabbi Marc Schneier, who led the all-evangelical delegation, tells The Associated Press on Thursday from the capital of Baku this was the first ever Christian evangelical delegation to visit Azerbaijan.

The group met President Ilham Aliyev, Muslim imams, local church leaders, and Israel’s ambassador.

— AP

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