Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev has congratulated the Orthodox Christian community of Azerbaijan on Christmas.
"Dear fellow countrymen! I heartily congratulate the entire Christian community of Azerbaijan on the sacred holiday of Christmas and wish each of you all the best," the message reads.
"The atmosphere of intercivilizational and intercultural dialogue, which has historically existed in Azerbaijan, preservation of the ethnic and cultural diversity to the present day played an exceptional role in building rich traditions of multiculturalism and tolerance, national moral and public values, establishing civil solidarity in our multinational and multiconfessional society. 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.
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.
Dear friends, Christmas is celebrated annually in Azerbaijan as a symbol of renewal, accord, mercy and compassion among people.
I once again extend my sincere congratulations to all of you, wish your families happiness and your homes abundance. Happy holidays!" President Ilham Aliyev said in his congratulatory message.