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In the News

Azerbaijan backs tolerance, multiculturalism

August 06, 2015

Azerbaijan, a country that is regarded as a model of tolerance and multiculturalism around the world, aims to continue building its message of tolerance and intercultural dialogue.

President Ilham Aliyev has ordered additional measures to strengthen religious culture, tolerance, and interreligious and intercultural dialogue in Azerbaijan.

The Presidential Reserve Fund will allocate 3 million manat (about $ 2.8 million) to the Religious Culture Development Fund, according to the order.

Tolerance and multiculturalism in Azerbaijan is not just a talking point, but a style of life for over 9.6 million people living at the crossroad of the East and West, and combining traditions and cultures.

The secular state Azerbaijan is overwhelmingly Muslim – about 96 percent of the population. However, worshippers of other religions enjoy freedom here, and one can often witness Jewish synagogues and Orthodox and Christian churches and other religious centers functioning freely.

Azerbaijan supports religious centers in its capital and regions.

Today, when cultures and religions clash in the world, Azerbaijan can be seen as the perfect example of religious tolerance, safety, and multiculturalism.

The state places tolerance as one of its main drivers of the development of the country. Threats against religious and cultural values in Azerbaijan are eliminated through a systematic crackdown on any form of radicalism and extremism.

In a display of its tolerance, Azerbaijan also promotes its values around the world with exhibitions in Moscow, New York, UNESCO headquarters in Paris, and even in the restoration of religious sites in Russia, Italy, France, etc.

Taking intercultural dialogue as one of the most pressing challenges of the contemporary world, Azerbaijan has sponsored World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue in Baku once every two years since 2011.

The Baku Forum addresses the challenges of intercultural dialogue in its various aspects from conceptual frameworks to governance, policy, and practice. It gathers hundreds of representatives from around the world.

This year, the 3rd World Forum focused primarily on projects and programs dedicated to the May 21st World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development as declared by the UN General Assembly, as well as the role of faith, religions, migration, sports, education, art, business in building trust and cooperation among cultures and civilizations.

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