The Washington Times: “Azerbaijan: The land of religious tolerance”

The Washington Timeshas published an article headlined “Azerbaijan: The land of religious tolerance”.

The article reads: “What Muslim country allows Jews, Christians, Muslims and Baha`is to live side by side in peace and harmony?

Father Constantin, Press Secretary of Baku-Azerbaijan Eparchy of Russian Orthodox Church

In Azerbaijan’s long history, many nationalities and different ethnic groups have lived together, and the Azeri people have developed a mentality of love and kindness to other people. And history didn’t record any conflict between Christians, Jews and Muslims, the three main denominations in Azerbaijan. Even when idol worshippers lived here, such conflicts didn’t happen.

Today, our government’s support for the multiculturalism and tolerance built by our national leader Heydar Aliyev is being continued by President Ilham Aliyev. Different religious communities not only peacefully coexist, but also are joining action on charitable and social projects.

Although Azerbaijan’s main population is Muslim, the country`s constitution is of a secular state. It is our constitution, as citizens of Azerbaijan and also patriots of our country. We wish all goods and blessings to this country, to our country. We wish Azerbaijan to develop spiritually and materially.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18, United Nations - 1948.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Mr. Milikh Yevdayev, Head of the Mountain Jews Community in Azerbaijan

I always repeat these words to Jewish people everywhere that if they don’t have any place to live, let them come to Azerbaijan. We are here for 2,000 years and will be for another 2,000. We live here in peace and harmony with all other citizens of Azerbaijan of different ethnicities and religions.

In Azerbaijan, the government has created all conditions for preserving our religion and our language. We enjoy all the rights and privileges fixed in the Constitution of Azerbaijan. President Ilham Aliyev says he is the president of each and every citizen. We are witness of this statement in deeds. We are living here in peace and safety.

Ramazan Asgarli, Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha`is of Azerbaijan

Geographically located between east and west, Azerbaijan has developed its own culture that is not totally eastern or western. And the Azerbaijani people are characterized by their tolerance and kindness towards other cultures and nations.

Building on this, the government of Azerbaijan has created all conditions for developing this culture and even has adopted multiculturalism as a state policy.

In Baha`i writings, Azerbaijanis are mentioned as peaceful peace lovers with a rich and ancient culture. Today, Baha`is of Azerbaijan enjoy these favorable conditions in our country and contribute to the welfare and development of our society. We are grateful to the government of Azerbaijan for creating favorable conditions for practicing our beliefs.”

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