To the Orthodox Christian community of Azerbaijan
Dear fellow countrymen!
I would like to heartily congratulate you and the entire Christian community of Azerbaijan, and extend my best wishes to all of you as you celebrate the sacred holiday of Christmas, an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
In Azerbaijan, representatives of many nationalities and religions have lived in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility, mutual respect and confidence as a single family for centuries. They have preserved their cultural and ethnic identity, language and culture.
Azerbaijan today has an exemplary society, in which dialogue among civilizations and religions prevails, and progressing social values based on the principles of high humanity and tolerance are considered as norms of democratic coexistence. It is with great satisfaction that I emphasize that regardless of their language, religion and ethnicity, all ethnic minorities of our country, including Orthodox Christians, are making a worthy contribution to the interethnic and interfaith relations, and are closely involved in strengthening civil solidarity as well as in development and construction processes.
Christmas, which embodies renewal, peace and the triumph of mercy and compassion, is widely celebrated in Azerbaijan every year. May this sacred holiday bring happiness and abundance to your families and welfare to your lives.
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Baku, January 3, 2014