/ 17.01.2022 / 17:02
On January 17, Deputy Chairman of the State Committee on Religious Associations Sayavush Heydarov met with the newly appointed Bishop of the South Caucasus and Georgia Evangelical Lutheran Church Roef Barein Binhop. Former Bishop of the church Markus Schoch and a member of the Evangelical Lutheran religious community in Jena, Germany, the Pastor of the Baku religious community of Evangelical Lutheran Lemke Gothard Gunter Walter have attended the meeting.
Drawing attention to the environment of religious tolerance in Azerbaijan and the state policy in this direction, Deputy Chairman of the State Committee Sayavush Heydarov has said that national and religious tolerance in our country have been shaped based on our historical traditions and is a requirement of our society. Mr. Heydarov has expressed that representatives of all religious faiths and ethnic groups living in the region should respect other's cultural and moral views, which have been a distinctive feature that dates back thousands of years in the country. The unbroken tradition of statehood throughout the history, the dominant position of values as a high moral quality in the society, tolerance and coexistence in relation to the representatives of other religions stand on the basis of our life principles.
The Deputy Chairman has emphasized that the protection of tolerance in Azerbaijan as an essential part of our national and spiritual values is in the focus of attention in terms of ongoing political disputes and conflicts on religious grounds.
Number of registered religious associations has reached to 971 including 37 non-Muslims, and religious associations are surrounded by state care, Mr. Heydarov added.
Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the South Caucasus and Georgia Markus Shoch said that he had witnessed the same respect shown to all religious denominations in our country. Markus Schoch has noted that Azerbaijan's achievements in this direction, successful model of multiculturalism and tolerance, inter-religious relations provoke interest across the world. He also expressed satisfaction with the support provided to the activities of the Lutheran community in our country.
During the meeting, the new appointed Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the South Caucasus and Georgia, Roef Barein Binhop expressed the gratitude for the warm welcome and praised the close cooperation and friendship with various religious communities in the country.
The sides also exchanged views on issues of mutual interest.