An international conference on the theme “Russia-Azerbaijan: Interfaith Dialogue and Islamic Solidarity for Peace, Security and Cooperation” was held in St. Petersburg on Thursday.
Delivering a keynote speech at the conference, Chairman of the Caucasian Muslims Office (CMO), Sheikh-ul-Islam Haji Allahshukur Pashazade conveyed the greetings of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to participants, saying that tolerance and multiculturalism are a state strategy in Azerbaijan, APA’s Russia bureau reports.
"Today President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev acts as a defender of global and religious values. Believing people highly appreciate the declaration of 2017 as the “Year of Islamic Solidarity in Azerbaijan. Such efforts, in light of xenophobia and Islamophobia, give a powerful stimulus to the religious leaders in protecting religious values,” he said.
Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to Russia Polad Bulbuloglu said in his speech that this international conference shows that friendly relations between the two countries’ people are at a high level.
The conference then proceeded with a plenary meeting.
Speaking at the meeting, Chairman of the State Committee of Azerbaijan for Work with Religious Organizations Mubariz Gurbanli said representatives of all religions live in peace and tranquility in Azerbaijan, noting that 28 non-Islamic religious communities exist in Azerbaijan.
"Seventeen of them are Christian communities, which belong to different branches of Christianity. The largest non-Islamic religious organization is the Baku and Azerbaijan Eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church. At the same time, Azerbaijan is home to the Albanian Church, one of the ancient Eastern Orthodox churches. Albanian Udins are descendants of the Caucasian Albanians. Udins continue to live in our country. Thanks to the tolerant traditions in Azerbaijan, the Udins have been able to preserve their native languages and religious characteristics among Muslims,” he added.
At the end of the conference, an agreement on cooperation between the CMO and the Spiritual Board of Muslims of St. Petersburg and North-West region of Russia was signed.
An international conference on the theme “Russia-Azerbaijan: Interfaith Dialogue and Islamic Solidarity for Peace, Security and Cooperation” kicked off at the Tavricheskiy Palace in St. Petersburg on Nov. 23.
The event was co-organized by the State Committee of Azerbaijan for Work with Religious Organizations, Caucasian Muslims Office, Saint Petersburg State University, Spiritual Board of Muslims of St. Petersburg and North-West region of Russia, with the support of the Azerbaijani Embassy in Russia, APA’s Russia bureau reports.
The conference is following the international events held in Baku, the North Caucasus, Finland, Iran, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Spain as part of the Year of Islamic Solidarity.
Chairman of the Caucasus Muslims Office, Sheikhulislam Allahshukur Pashazade, Chairman of the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations Mubariz Gurbanli, Archbishop of Baku and Azerbaijan eparchy Alexander Ishein, Head of the Community of Mountain Jews in Azerbaijan Melih Yevdayev, Head of the Catholic community in Azerbaijan Ordinary Vladimir Fekete, Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to Russia Polad Bulbuloglu, members of the Azerbaijani Parliament, presidents of the Russian and Azerbaijani Academies of Science, as well as prominent scientists and religious figures are taking part in the conference.
The event started with the recitation of a verse from the Holy Quran.