Azerbaijan has no religious problems – Gurbanly

Azerbaijan has no religious problems – Gurbanly

Mubariz Gurbanly, the head of the Azerbaijani State Committee for Religious Formations, told Vestnik Kavkaza that the 16th report of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry about freedom of religion in the world passed to the U.S. Congress this week had unconfirmed facts and was overall biased.

The document states that Azerbaijan infringes the rights of religious minorities. It adds that the government is the only one with competence to open or close mosques. Not a single one of them was closed in 2010.

Gurbanly said that data in the report was old. He insists that the rights of all religions are respected. The official reminded that Azerbaijan had Orthodox, Catholic churches, a synagogue, Krishna worshippers. He admitted that 96% of the Azerbaijani population were Muslims but all religions in the country lived in peace. Generally, Gurbanly said that the U.S. could make any reports it wanted, foreign ministries of Azerbaijan, Russia and China could make research about the rights of religious communities in the U.S.

The expert pointed out that presenting separated statistics for Sunnis and Shiites in Azerbaijan was pointless in the report because, in his words, both had been living in peace for centuries. Gurbanly reminded that there had been only 17 mosques in Azerbaijan in the Soviet times and there were 2,000 at the moment. Over 200 mosques were reconstructed and built in the last years. Baku is building a big mosque which President Ilham Aliyev has already visited. Gurbanly said that his State Committee was giving permission for construction of a mosque according to the law. He added that the Heydar Aliyev Fund helped reconstruct churches.

Mubariz Gurbanly, the head of the Azerbaijani State Committee for Religious Formations, told Vestnik Kavkaza that the 16th report of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry about freedom of religion in the world passed to the U.S. Congress this week had unconfirmed facts and was overall biased.The document states that Azerbaijan infringes the rights of religious minorities. It adds that the government is the only one with competence to open or close mosques. Not a single one of them was closed in 2010.Gurbanly said that data in the report was old. He insists that the rights of all religions are respected. The official reminded that Azerbaijan had Orthodox, Catholic churches, a synagogue, Krishna worshippers. He admitted that 96% of the Azerbaijani population were Muslims but all religions in the country lived in peace. Generally, Gurbanly said that the U.S. could make any reports it wanted, foreign ministries of Azerbaijan, Russia and China could make research about the rights of religious communities in the U.S.The expert pointed out that presenting separated statistics for Sunnis and Shiites in Azerbaijan was pointless in the report because, in his words, both had been living in peace for centuries. Gurbanly reminded that there had been only 17 mosques in Azerbaijan in the Soviet times and there were 2,000 at the moment. Over 200 mosques were reconstructed and built in the last years. Baku is building a big mosque which President Ilham Aliyev has already visited. Gurbanly said that his State Committee was giving permission for construction of a mosque according to the law. He added that the Heydar Aliyev Fund helped reconstruct churche

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