Religious Tolerance as a Part of Cultural Diversity (2015 )

News | 5 mins

Movie Info

  • Release Date: 09 Aug, 2015
  • Country Azerbaijan
  • Author Ismayil Fataliyev
  • Broadcaster Space TV and Radio Broadcasting Ltd
  • Submitting Institute Space TV and Radio Broadcasting Ltd


Competition status- Participant

There are more than 30 non-Muslim communities  nowadays  functioning in Azerbaijan, the country with predominantly Muslim population. Due to current constitution representatives of all faiths are equal before the law and everyone has the freedom of conscience. Father of 46 year old Jamila Samedova is an Azeri and her mother is a Pole. She says there has never been any kind of ban on talks and discussions about other religions in her family. In her opinion, thanks to this fact she picked up history of religions back at University. Jamila is one of many taking interest in catholic wing of Christianity in Azerbaijan. Vladimir Baxa, priest of Baku Catholic Church, is sure the opening of the Catholic temple back in 2002 was an important event not only for Catholic community of Azerbaijan, which is some 1000 people. He says when walking outside in his church curious people approach posing questions. Students also visit the church. Respect for other religions is the basis of the concept of religious tolerance. When this attitude is preserved for centuries, tolerance goes to an even higher level. Milikh Yevdaev, chairman of the Religious Community of Mountainous Jews, says that nowadays Azerbaijan is home for up   to 30 thousand Jews.  He is sure that each member of the Jewish community regards Israel as the historical homeland, and Azerbaijan –as the real one.  It is not a coincidence that community`s logotype depicts Jewish 7-candle minora behind tricolor shield which protects it. Unlike in Asia or Europe different religions in Azerbaijan not only coexist but cooperate successfully, says Kostantin Pimenov, of Baku-Azerbaijan diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church. Tolerance towards other beliefs in Azerbaijan can be traced from the history. In the 16th century, during the reign of the Safavid dynasty( Shiite Muslims), Zoroastrians , fire-worshipers were   allowed  to build their  temples. In the early 20th century at the time of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, its Parliament consisted of representatives of all faiths inhabiting in Azerbaijan. Even after the fall of the atheist Soviet regime, the country which suffered occupation of the part of its territory by neighboring Armenia, has left untouched Armenian church located in the heart of the capital, Baku.
Each  year  international community marks November 16 as  the International Day of Tolerance. While in Europe islamophobic feelings arise from time to time and the Middle East turns into arena of  clashes  between religious movements, tolerance model  in Azerbaijan is a true phenomenon.

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