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Recognition of religion or belief in Azerbaijan

According to the SRR, conditions for RoRB in the Republic of Azerbaijan (including Nagorno-Karabakh) are classified censorious.

Recognition of religion or belief in Azerbaijan


  • Procedures for recognition and registration are amalgamated rather than differentiated.

  • The Azerbaijani government’s outright refusal to recognise valid applicants is demonstrative of the devolving situation for religious freedoms in the country as these types of activities are comparable to countries like Eritrea which are classified as terminal.

  • Azerbaijan breaks the Bielefeldt provision and several of the Durham principles.

  • Denying NGOs that advocate religious freedom from conducting their activities is further evidence of the Azerbaijani government’s commitment to censorship of religious activity.

  • The broad scope and subjectivity of lawful reasons for denying and retracting registered status demonstrates the government’s commitment to censoring religious activity.

  • It is the reports of police raids, torture and other forms of violence permitted by the government or by entities sponsored by or in association with the government that descends Azerbaijan to censoriality.

Positive elements:

  • Horizontal recognition applied.


  • Abolish the rule for mandatory registration.

  • Immediately stop retribution for unregistration.


  • Discrimination exists within the registration process against minority faiths (essentially, any group other than the Armenian Apostolic Church).

  • Existential recognition is extended to the Armenian Apostolic Church; partial recognition is in effect.

  • False claim to freedom of religion or belief.

  • Subjective language is used in the legislation that could easily be misapplied.

  • Unregistration and proselytism by minorities is banned.

RoRB Topic
RoRB Compliance
RoRB Classification
Country or territory
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