Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov.12
By Sabina Ahmadova - Trend:
Azerbaijan is a progressive and positive example of multiculturalism in the world, said the article published on Effective News information website.
Azerbaijan, situated at the crossroad of East and West, has a multicultural society, the article said.
"For centuries, Azerbaijanis have lived in peace and harmony with people from many different religious backgrounds and ethnic groups and Azerbaijan has been listed one of the top five most tolerant countries in the world," the website said.
A report by the European Parliament in 2013 revealed that Azerbaijan has achieved a very high level of religious tolerance. The chairman of Human Rights Without Frontiers International which prepared a report for the European Parliament called "Religious Minorities in Azerbaijan: From History to Independence" said that from his organisations research, it has been agreed by Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, Protestant and Udi communities in Azerbaijan that the Azerbaijani government, as well as people, have shown the highest level of friendliness, support, and tolerance towards their religious group. They said that their communities have always felt welcome and safe in Azerbaijan.
The constitution of Azerbaijan also expressly guarantees religious freedom and although 96% of Azerbaijan's population is Muslim; Azerbaijan is a secular republic where the state is completely separated from any religion, the website said.
Azerbaijan has maintained friendly relations with the Vatican which President Ilham Aliyev is committed to continuing. The Vatican's Foreign Minister Giovanni Lajolo has expressed his satisfaction with the "level of friendly communications between Azerbaijan and the Vatican." He said that the country is "a place where many religions and cultures merge." In a statement by President Aliyev he expresses that one of the greatest achievement of independent Azerbaijan is the fact that people from all ethnicities and religions live there and are like one big family who enjoy the same rights, the website said.