On 29 July the participants of the V International Summer School of Multiculturalism on “Intercultural Dialogue in the Context of Religious and Cultural Diversity – Interreligious Harmony in Azerbaijan” held by President Ilham Aliyev’s recommendation and the joint organizational efforts of Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism, UNESCO, “Erasmus+”, “ALADDIN Project” and the Club of the Young Friends of Azerbaijan visited the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations.

Referring to the practice of summer and winter schools in Azerbaijan for the young people from foreign countries by the initiative of Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism and other organizations, the Chair of the State Committee Mubariz Gurbanli spoke of the importance of this project implemented by President Ilham Aliyev’s recommendation. He gave thorough information on the activities of the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations to the summer school participants.

Mubariz Gurbanli also answered the participants’ numerous questions. He spoke of the environment of tolerance in our country, the multicultural values inherent to our people, the relations based on the mutual respect and trust among different religions and confessions. The Chair of the State Committee, who pointed out the fact that 96 percent of Azerbaijan’s population are Muslims, also underlined that there are Christian and Jewish communities in our country as well. M.Gurbanli stated that Azerbaijan is a secular country, and the representatives of different confessions have co-existed here independently and under the conditions of mutual understanding for centuries. Our people has always treated their language, religion, and culture with respect. Also, the state regularly renders a financial assistance to Islamic and non-Islamic communities.

Giving also thorough information on Armenian-Azerbaijani, Nagorni Karabagh conflict to the participants of the meeting, the Chair of the Committee stated that Azerbaijan has been exposed to a military aggression by Armenia, 20 percent of our territory is under occupation, and over one million Azerbaijanis have been ousted from their homes.

M.Gurbanli pointed out his belief that the participants of the V International Summer School of Multiculturalism will return to their countries deeply impressed by Azerbaijan.