April 13, 2022 6:50 p.m. (UTC+04:00)
The protection of freedom of conscience and the development of higher religious education in Azerbaijan are constantly at the center of President Ilham Aliyev’s attention, the rector of the Theological Institute Agil Shirinov told Trend.
According to Shirinov, the President’s participation in the opening of a new building of the institute demonstrates his respect and concern for the spiritual values and religion of Azerbaijan.
The rector said that the Institute of Theology has been under the supervision of the state since its establishment and the main objective of the institute is to educate religious figures without superstitions.
“We all witnessed the bloody events in the Middle East for religious and sectarian reasons. Unfortunately, a religious factor was used in the events,” he noted. “Radical interpretations that do not correspond to the origins of our religion are used to confuse people. Unfortunately, this is a bitter reality in some Eastern countries. To avoid this, religious education must be based on scientific sources .
“A religious education taking into account the specificities of each country is necessary. Sometimes we see the weakness of national identity in some people who receive religious education abroad. For them, the religious interests of the country in which they are studying become increasingly important,” Shirinov said.
“The education of our students at the Azerbaijan Theological Institute is important for a proper understanding of religion, taking into account our local specificities,” he said. “Our institute pays particular attention to these issues. We try to teach Islam and other religions to our students as they are.
The rector pointed out that religious discrimination also exists in Western countries.
“However, we are witnessing a historically tolerant environment in our country. People of different religions and ethnic groups live in Azerbaijan, and there have been no religious and ethnic problems between them,” he added. .
“As the President of Azerbaijan pointed out, tolerance is our way of life. Today, representatives of different religions live freely in Azerbaijan without any discrimination,” noted Shirinov. “On the contrary, they are still surrounded by state care. Every year, the state allocates financial aid to various religious denominations.
“A clear example of the importance that the Azerbaijani state attaches to spiritual values are our mosques and churches built and restored in the territories liberated from Armenian occupation. [in the 2020 second Karabakh war]“, he recalled. “The mosques destroyed by Armenia [in the previously occupied territories] are being rebuilt. In Shusha, repair of mosques is underway and a new mosque is expected to be built.
“I would also like to highlight the exceptional activities of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation carried out in the liberated territories. The foundation pays special attention to the restoration of churches in the liberated territories,” Shirinov said.
Follow us on twitter @AzerNewsAz