Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev congratulated the Orthodox Christian communities in the country with Christmas, AzerTAj state news agency reported.
"I extend my heartfelt greetings and best wishes to the whole Christian community of Azerbaijan on Christmas which marks the blessed occasion of the birth of Prophet Jesus," the message says.
"Peacefully coexisting in Azerbaijan over centuries, the divine religions have played invaluable, historic role in establishing brotherhood, friendship and harmony among people. Based on mutual respect and confidence among peoples and religions, the atmosphere of tolerance within modern Azerbaijani society - which is built on progressive historic and cultural values - as well as national and spiritual solidarity have rightly made our country known to the world as an example of tolerance," the message says.
"As an integral part of our society, Christian citizens, including large Orthodox Christian community, are closely involved in all spheres of socio-political life of Azerbaijan. I am confident that you will continue to perform worthily your civic duties in the name of progress and prosperity of Azerbaijan. Christmas, which embodies renewal, peace, compassion and mercy, is celebrated annually in Azerbaijan. Once again I extend my greetings to you, and may this blessed holiday bring happiness and welfare into your families," the President said in his message.