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No discrimination of religious trends in Azerbaijan, Sheikh-ul-Islam says

6 July 2016 13:46 (UTC+04:00)
No discrimination of religious trends in Azerbaijan, Sheikh-ul-Islam says

By Amina Nazarli

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev signed an order on July 5 on rendering financial assistance to the country's religious structures.

To support religious confessions existing in the country and improve their material conditions, 1 million manats (about $ 644,000) will be allocated from the Presidential Reserve to the confessions.

Some 250,000 manats ($161,000) will be allocated to Baku and Caspian Eparchy of Russian Orthodox Church and Baku Mountain Jews community each, as well as 100,000 manats (about $64,000) will be issued to Religious community of European Jews, Apostolic Prefecture of the Catholic Church in Azerbaijan and Albanian-Udi Christian religious community of Azerbaijan each.

Representatives of different faiths and religions live in harmony with each other in Azerbaijan. The country with predominantly Muslim population is tolerant to all other religions flourishing in the country.

Such religions as heathenism, Zoroastrism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and others managed to spread over the country in different periods of time, interacted with one another and formed a specific religious life in the country.

One of the oldest mosques in the world built in 743, is located in the Azerbaijani city of Shamakhi, while one of the oldest churches in the world -- the Caucasian Albanian church located near the other ancient Azerbaijani city of Sheki. Orthodox and Catholic churches, synagogues, temples of fire-worshipers -- all of them are fundamental cultural and historical heritage of the nation.

The government makes everything possible to restore the historical and religious monuments and the construction of new mosques, synagogues and churches.

Currently, the number of religious communities reaches 649 in the country. Representatives of all the nations, all religions, all ethnic groups in the country have equal rights. Religious freedom and support in Azerbaijan is fully provided by the government.

Caucasian Muslims Office head, Sheikh-ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazade, who was talking to reporters on July 6, once again highlighted the tolerant atmosphere of the country.

“In Azerbaijan, representatives of the Shiites and the Sunnis occasionally celebrate the holiday on different days. Today, representatives of the two movements prayed together,” he said referring to the festive prayers in Teze Pir mosque marking the Eid-al Fitr.

This shows once again that there is no discrimination in Azerbaijan, Pashazade stressed.

“We for the first time performed namaz in all the mosques at the same time in accordance with the established time by observatory, which shows our unity. Such unity can not be seen anywhere else in the world. This is an indication of our tolerance. We have an enemy, and have such a big problem as the Karabakh. We will soon liberate our lands from occupation. May Allah grant us this day. We have unity in every issue. Some forces want to prevent it. But no one can break this unity. If Allah wills,” Sheikh-ul-Islam noted.

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Amina Nazarli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @amina_nazarli

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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