On 21 April a special event was organized in the Chamber and Organ Music Hall to celebrate the official start of the activities of the Christian religious community “Vineyard Azerbaijan”. The event was attended by the representatives of the diplomatic institutions in our country, the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations, Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism and a number of other communities. After greeting the guests, the announcer of the event Haji Zeynaloghlu gave the floor to the Chief of the Analytics Department of Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism, Doctor of Philosophy Rashad Ilyasov. R.Ilyasov, first of all, wished success to the leadership of the community in their activities on behalf of the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Centre, Academician Kamal Abdulla and the Acting Executive Director Ravan Hasanov. Speaking of the values of multiculturalism and tolerance Rashad Ilyasov stated that Azerbaijan is an example to the entire world in multiculturalism and tolerance. He noted that irrespective of their language, religion, race, ethnic identities, all the citizens of Azerbaijan enjoy rights and freedoms including freedoms of conscience and religious belief based on international principles. He emphasized that there are high level conditions created for all the ethnic minorities as well as various confessions residing in our country to maintain their religious-spiritual values, national customs and traditions, to develop and survive their languages and cultures, and the event was one of the bright examples of one part of these values. By the end of his speech he also expressed his belief in further mutual and consistent relations between the community “Vineyard Azerbaijan” and Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism and in effective contribution of these activities to our state.
The Leader of the community Emil Panahov expressed his gratitude to everyone for their participation and added that the journey leading to the present achievements has not been that easy. He also stressed that there is a lot of work to be done in future. Emil Panahov asked for prayers for peace in Azerbaijan, unity among people and constant security in our state.
The event went on with a small theatrical performance reflecting the real developments and realities that the community has experienced since the day it was created, and the folk dances of various nationalities performed by the dancing ensembles “Alov” (flame) and “Dajal Gyzlar” (“The Naughty Girls”). The event was accomplished with a traditional cake party.
It should be stated that “Vineyard Azerbaijan” is the member of the International Vineyard Churches Association with its headquarters situated in London, the UK, and officially represents it in Azerbaijan. “Vineyard Azerbaijan” was officially registered as a Christian religious community by the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations on 9 April 2018.