Religion:Orthodoxy in Azerbaijan

From HandWiki

Orthodoxy in Azerbaijan is the second largest religious group in the Republic of Azerbaijan (after Islam).[1][2][3] According to statistics, the Orthodox Byzantine tradition in Azerbaijan is 2.3% (209.7 thousand people). The territory of Azerbaijan is in the jurisdiction[4] of the Baku-Azerbaijan Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church.[5][6]

History of Orthodoxy in Azerbaijan

Year Total numbers Slavic-Orthodox population share[5]
1897 95,736 5.6
1926 241,653 0.6
1939 553,433 17.3
1959 531,344 14.3
1970 544,148 10.6
1979 506,439 8.4
1989 432,482 6.2
1999 170,700 2.1
2009 143,800 1.6

Serious changes in the Albanian church occurred under the Arab rule, when the Catholicos Nerses I Bakur (688-704) attempted to convert to Chalcedonism, thus recognizing the spiritual authority of Constantinople. He was deposed by the Grand Duke of Albania Shero and other feudal lords who remained faithful to the Albanian church, and cursed at the national church cathedral. In the second half of the 10th century, the population of the left-bank Albania (Hereti) was included in the sphere of influence of the decision of the Chalcedon Council of the Georgian Church, adopted in the 7th century and got a great impact of Georgia.[7]

When the territories of Transcaucasia entered the Russian Empire, the Albanian Catholicos of the church in 1813 by the decree of Tsar Nicholas I passed into the status of the metropolite of the Albanian church.

Orthodoxy became wide spread in Azerbaijan at the beginning of the 19th century.[8][9]

Orthodoxy in Azerbaijan nowadays

In 1815, the first Russian Orthodox church appeared in Baku. Later such churches were built in Ganja, Goranboy (Borisi-Russian village, 1842), Shemakha (Alty-Aghadj village, 1834), Lankaran (Vel village, 1838), and Gedabek (Slavyanka village, 1844).

There were 21 sectarian villages in Baku during 1868.[10]

In 1905, the Baku Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church was established. During the Soviet era,[11] the authorities repressed the priests of the Baku diocese, but in 1944 two churches were opened.[12]

In 1998, the Baku-Caspian Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church was established. On March 22, 2011, the decision of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church was changed to the Baku-Caspian diocese in Baku-Azerbaijan.[13]

In 2011 there were six Christian Orthodox churches in the country. Five of them belong to the Russian Orthodox church (ROC): three of them are located in Baku one in Ganja and one in Khachmaz.

Another temple belongs to the jurisdiction of the Georgian Orthodox Church - the church of St. George in the village of Gakh-Inguila in the Qakh district, where the Ingiloi Georgians[14] live compactly (about 7,500 people).

In 2013, November, President Ilham Aliyev participated in the opening ceremony of Orthodox Religious and Cultural Center of Baku and Azerbaijan Eparchy. Firstly, The President visited the Holy Myrrhbearers Cathedral.[15]

There is also the Michael Archangel’s Temple in the capital city Baku.[16]

The Albanian-Udin Christian community

In 2001, during his visit to Azerbaijan, Patriarch Alexe II met with representatives of the Udin community who expressed the desire of their people to join the ROC. However, this did not lead to any real results, and the community of Udin remained outside the church's nourishment.

In May 28, 2003, the Albanian-Udin Christian community was established in Azerbaijan. The Chairman of the community was Robert Mobilea. This was due to the restoration of the ancient Kish temple in Shaki (according to legend, the foundation was laid by the apostle Eliseus). In 2006, the restoration of the second Udin temple, the church in the village of Nijgabalinsky district, was completed. Restoration works are also continued in the village of Gum of the Gakh region and the basilica in the village of Gyumriuk with the intention of restoration of the Albanian basilica which is related to the 5th century.[17]

In 2006, the bishop of Baku and the Caspian Sea, Alexander (Ishchein), reported that Orthodox worship will be performed in Udin churches, and priests for them are trained in Russian religious schools. The Baku diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church took part in some solemn events, and even held baptisms, but there is no general progress on the involving of Udin into the ROC. Meanwhile, the Albanian-Udin Christian community exists in the form of a separate ethno-religious group with its own ideas about the "Udin Church", in which rituals are conducted not by canonical clergymen, but by the members of the community. In particular, the right to baptize was taken over by the Chairman of the AUHO Robert Mobilea and the self-styled "spiritual figure" Rafik Danakari.[18]

See also


  1. "Religion in Azerbaijan". 
  2. Dawisha, Karen; Parrott, Bruce (1994-01-28) (in en). Russia and the New States of Eurasia: The Politics of Upheaval. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521458955. 
  3. "All about Azerbaijan: culture, religion and etc". 
  4. "Russian Church has 180 million faithful; 36,000 churches; 1,000 monasteries; 56 seminaries—pat. Kirill | Serbian Orthodox Church [Official web site"]. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Russian Orthodox Church and its influence". 
  6. "The Russian Orthodox Church and the Impact of Bolshevism" (in en). 
  7. Ehteshami, Anoushiravan (1994) (in en). From the Gulf to Central Asia: Players in the New Great Game. University of Exeter Press. ISBN 9780859894517. 
  8. Huseynzadeh, Tunjay. "Azerbaijani Multiculturalism" (in en). 
  9. "Welcome to Heydar Aliyevs Heritage Research Center". 
  10. "Azerbaijan - Religion In Azerbaijan". 
  11. "Religion in USSR".'lL.363(2011).pdf. 
  12. "Russian Orthodox Church in Baku". MyAngle. 
  13. "Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church takes decisions on external church activities | The Russian Orthodox Church" (in en-US). 
  15. "Azerbaijani President attends opening of Orthodox Religious and Cultural Center of Baku and Azerbaijan Eparchy" (in en-US). News | Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE. 2013-11-16. 
  16. "About us – Church of St. Archangel Michael of Baku" (in en-GB). 
  17. "Udins Today - Ancestors of the Caucasian Albanians". 
  18. "Baptism in Nij". 


External links