Azerbaijan’s model of tolerance, interfaith harmony has discussed in the United States.
The Valley Outreach Synagogue, one of the most influential Jewish synagogues in Los Angeles, hosted a presentation on Azerbaijan on August 14, the Azerbaijani Consulate General in Los Angeles said.
Attended by over 500 members of the Synagogue, the event featured Nasimi Aghayev, Azerbaijan’s Consul General in Los Angeles.
Opening the event, Synagogue’s Spiritual Leader Rabbi Ron Li-Paz noted that during the turbulent times of religious intolerance and violence in various parts of the world, especially in the Middle East, Azerbaijan stands out as a beacon of tolerance, interfaith harmony and secularism.
He called Azerbaijan “a ray of hope in the darkness” and an exemplary model of religious tolerance and acceptance.
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.
Aghayev, in turn, informed the audience about important milestones of Azerbaijan’s history, as well as its steady development and modernization as an independent nation since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
He also mentioned that the Azerbaijani people established in 1918 the first secular parliamentary republic in the Muslim world, and that the ethnic and religious tolerance was one of the guiding principles of this Republic.
Aghayev further added that thanks to tireless efforts by Azerbaijan’s leadership, today all religious communities in Azerbaijan enjoy strong interfaith harmony and acceptance, and Muslims, Christians, Jews and other communities live together in peace, dignity and mutual respect in the country.
Nasimi Aghayev also informed the event attendees about the illegal military occupation and ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijan’s lands by Armenia.
Noting the vast oil and natural gas resources of Azerbaijan, the consul general highlighted the country’s important contributions to the energy independence and diversification in Europe.
Azerbaijan’s strategic relations with both the United States and Israel were also discussed at the event.
The event concluded with a lively Q&A session, during which Aghayev responded to various questions from the audience.
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