Baku hosts official reception over Christmas

Baku and Azerbaijan Eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church organized an official reception over Christmas.

Addressing the event, Head of the Baku and Azerbaijan Eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church, Archbishop Alexander extended his congratulations on the occasion of Christmas, saying that, such events have become a tradition and is celebrated in Azerbaijan at a high level.

Archbishop Alexander emphasized that, 2017 was declared the year of “Islamic Solidarity” and in this regard Azerbaijan and many other countries hosted various meetings and events.

Stressing the problems that can have a negative impact on humanity, such as terrorism, Archbishop Alexander told that as religious figures, we must avoid using religion for political purposes.

Emphasizing that the Christmas is a holiday of peace, the archbishop said that like every year, President Ilham Aliyev congratulated Christians living in the country this year. He expressed confidence that under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev Azerbaijan will continue to develop in the conditions of stability and prosperity.

At the event, Chairman of the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations Mubariz Gurbanli read President Ilham Aliyev’s congratulatory letter to Azerbaijani Orthodox Christian community on the occasion of Christmas holiday. The letter states that the inter-civilizational and intercultural dialogue in Azerbaijan and the preservation of ethnic and cultural diversity have played an important role in the formation of national traditions of moral and social values, rich multiculturalism and tolerance in the multinational and multi-confessional society and the establishment of civic solidarity.

We consider this historical achievement as a great success of our national statehood, as one of the priorities of the state policy to ensure the rights and freedoms, including the freedom of conscience and religion, of all citizens of the country irrespective of their language, religion and ethnicity, the president stressed in the letter.

It is with great pleasure that I would like to note that as all ethnic minorities in our country, the Orthodox Christian community is making a worthy contribution to interethnic and interfaith relations and is closely involved in the process of rapid development and civil society building in Azerbaijan, the president said.

Then Chairman of the Caucasus Muslims Office Sheikhulislam Allahshukur Pashazade congratulated on the occasion of Christmas. He said that, Muslims, Orthodox Christians, Catholics, Jews and members of other religious communities co-exist in unique friendship, brotherhood conditions in Azerbaijan. Speaking about multiculturalism and tolerance Sheikhulislam Allahshukur Pashazade Azerbaijan played an important role in the establishment of a dialogue between the religious solidarity environment and the dialogue between civilizations and Islamic culture in the world.

He also hailed that laid by the national leader Heydar Aliyev, the multiculturalism policy is now being successfully continued by President Ilham Aliyev. Sheikhulislam Allahshukur Pashazade recalled the presentation of the order of the saint Equal to the Apostles Duchess Olga of the 2nd Degree, a high order of the Russian Orthodox Church, to Azerbaijan’s First Vice-President, president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia for her support of the Russian Orthodox Church as well as her outstanding contributions to strengthening friendship between Russia and Azerbaijan.

Officials, members of parliament, religious leaders, diplomats, public figures attended the reception.