January 7, 2007

Mary Christmas, Azerbaijan!

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has extended Christmas congratulations to the Orthodox Christians of the Azerbaijan Republic, APA reports.

“I cordially congratulate you, the Christian community of Azerbaijan, on the occasion of the blessed Christmas holiday, and extend my most sincere wishes to all of you.

Christianity has existed in Azerbaijan since ancient times. It is not by mere chance that our country was the first in the Caucasus, where Christian temples were built. Peacefully coexisting here over centuries, the divine religions have played invaluable, historic role in the establishment of brotherhood, friendship and harmony among people. No cases of ethnic or racial discrimination or religious intolerance have ever been observed in Azerbaijan.

Today, the independent Republic of Azerbaijan remains committed to its progressive traditions. The high degree of benevolence peculiar to our people, the atmosphere of ethnic and religious tolerance, mutual respect and confidence among ethnic minorities and religious communities, as well as the established socio-political stability and civil solidarity, have made our country internationally known as a good example of tolerance. As an integral part of our society, the Orthodox Christian community is closely involved in all spheres of socio-political life. I am confident that you will continue to perform worthily your civic duties in the name of progress and development of our country. Christmas, which is solemnly celebrated annually in Azerbaijan, is a holiday of renewal, peace, compassion and mercy. This blessed holiday bring happiness into your families, and welfare into your lives. Happy Christmas!” the congratulations say. /APA/

No comments: