Today.Az » Society » Relevant agencies fighting against religious radicalism in Azerbaijan
23 June 2016 [16:59] - Today.Az
By Amina Nazarli
A conference dedicated to the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the State Committee for Work with Religious Associations was held in Baku on June 21.
At the event entitled “State Committee on work with religious structures of Azerbaijan - 15: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” the participants noted that Azerbaijan increased the number of registered religious communities. Over the years, the number of existing religious communities increased from 376 to 649.
Mubariz Gurbanli, the chairman of the State Committee, said that issues of religion and state relations are governed by the Constitution and the Law "On freedom of religion".
"Azerbaijan is a multi-religious and multi-ethnic state. Along with Muslim mosques, Christian churches and national religious community are functioning here," Gurbanli said.
He noted that the representatives of different faiths and religions live in harmony with each other in Azerbaijan. The government makes everything possible to restore the historical and religious monuments and the construction of new mosques, synagogues and churches.
”If in the Soviet period only 17 mosques functioned in our country, now their number has reached 2,100. During the years of independence, Azerbaijan has constructed and repaired thousands of mosques. This process continues till today,” he said.
Gurbanli noted that Azerbaijan restores not only mosques, but also historical churches and synagogues. A lot of new places of worship are building in the country. Today, the State Committee has 15 departments in the field and nine in Baku.
MP Siyavush Novruzov, in turn, expressed confidence that an atmosphere of mutual understanding and stability have been established in Azerbaijan in the sphere of religion.
"Every event held here is a demonstration of tolerance,” he said. “We are witnessing the work of the State Committee, which are trying to convey the government’s policy and the correct interpretation of religious events taking place in the world to the public."
Archbishop of Baku Russian Orthodox Church Alexander Ischein expressed confidence that the state committee occupies a special place in society because they regulate relations in the sphere of state and religion.
"This is very important in our lives, because often there are all sorts of pseudo-religious movements that tend to destabilize society. This process was experienced in the country during the formation of the Azerbaijani state. Unfortunately, there were a lot of movements of this kind," he said.
The meeting adopted an appeal to President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, which says that in order to regulate the country's relations between state and religion, the State Committee operates with the State Adviser on International Affairs, the issues of multiculturalism and religion, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the relevant committee of the Parliament, law enforcement agencies, relevant state agencies, the CMO and other religious denominations and implements a set of measures in this direction.
On the same day, President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on awarding a number of employees of the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations for fruitful activity in the sphere of regulating relations between state and religion in the country.