Azerbaijan: New State Committee to Monitor Religious Communities


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Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2001 09:02:09 +0300 (EEST)
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Subject: Azerbaijan: New State Committee to Monitor Religious Communities

From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>

Original sender: Eldar Zeynalov <eldar@azeurotel.com>

Azerbaijan: New State Committee to Monitor Religious
Communities


(Translated from Russian by MINELRES)


STATE COMMITTEE ON RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS TO INTRODUCE RESTRICTIONS ON
MISSIONARIES' VISITS

"Turan". Within last 7 years, the number of religious communities
acting in Azerbaijan reached 7,000, and two thirds of them do not
possess official registration. "Most of these religious communities
are sects which historically have nothing to do with Azerbaijan",
Rafik Aliev, chairman of the State Committee on work with the
religious organizations, pointed out. After his words, activities of
such communities as Adventists, Krishnaits, Bakhai, Baptists, and Baku
Christian Church, must be implemented according to the laws of
Azerbaijan, and must not be regulated from their headquarters abroad.
Besides, the number of foreign pastors-missionaries, and time of their
stay in Azerbaijan, must be limited. 


"Echo", 26 July 2001

-----------------

STATE COMMITTEE ON WORK WITH THE RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS RECEIVED
CARTE-BLANCHE FROM THE PRESIDENT FOR STRUGGLE AGAINST MISSIONARIES

The President of Azerbaijan Geydar Aliev approved the Regulations of
the State Committee on work with the religious organizations.
According to this document, the Committee is responsible for creating
the conditions ensuring the freedom of conscience, control over
implementation of the legislation in this area, is in charge for
registration of the religious organizations, and is to organize
pilgrimage to foreign countries ("Turan"). 

Besides, the Committee is entitled to speak on behalf of the state in
considering disputes connected with the religious organizations, and
to bring corresponding issues before the authorized state bodies. 

The new institution is also granted authorities to implement control
over publication of religious literature, import and distribution of
religious attributes, examine religious schools. The Committee also
has the right to bring the cases before the court, asking to terminate
activities of the religious organizations in the cases of violations
of legislation, inciting religious discord, and religious-political
subversive activity against national security. 

The institution os also commissioned to collect and forward to law
enforcement bodies the information and materials about religious
propaganda conducted by foreigners and stateless persons. 

"Zerkalo", 24 July 2001

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