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The religions of Azerbaijan comprise different religious trends spread among the people and ethnic groups residing in the country. There are several confessions in Azerbaijan.
Approximately 95% of the population of Azerbaijan is Muslim. The rest of the population adheres to other faiths or are non-religious, although they are not officially represented. Among the Muslim majority, religious observance varies and Muslim identity tends to be based more on culture and ethnicity rather than religion; however, many imams reported increased attendance at mosques during 2003. The Muslim population is approximately 85% Shi'a and 15% Sunni ; differences traditionally have not been defined sharply. Most Shias are adherents of orthodox Ithna Ashari school of Shi'a Islam. Other traditional religions or beliefs that are followed by many in the country are the orthodox Sunni Islam, the Armenian Apostolic Church (in Nagorno-Karabakh Republic), the Russian Orthodox Church, and various Christian sects. Traditionally villages around Baku and Lenkoran region are considered stronghold of Shi'ism. In some northern regions, populated by Sunni Dagestani (Lezghian) people, the Salafi movement gained great following. Folk Islam is widely practiced but there is little evidence of an organized Sufi movement.
Azerbaijan is a secular country, in article 48 of its Constitution ensures the liberty of worship to everyone. Everyone has a right to choose any faith, to adopt any religion or to not practice any religion, to express one's view on the religion and to spread it. According to paragraphs 1-3 of Article 18 of the Constitution the religion acts separately from the government, each religion is equal before the law and the propaganda of religions, abating human personality and contradicting to the principles of humanism is prohibited. At the same time the state system of education is also secular.
According to the recent Gallup Poll Azerbaijan is one of the most irreligious countries in the world with about 50% of respondents indicating the importance of religion in their life as little or none.
The law of the Republic of Azerbaijan (1992) "On freedom of faith" ensures the right of any human being to determine and express his view on religion and to execute this right.
The Bahá'í Faith in Azerbaijan crosses a complex history of regional changes. Before 1850 followers of the predecessor religion Bábism were established in Nakhichevan. By the early 1900s the Bahá'í community, now centered in Baku, numbered perhaps 2000 individuals and several Bahá'í Local Spiritual Assemblies had facilitated the favorable attention of local and regional, and international leaders of thought as well as long standing leading figures in the religion. However under Soviet rule the Bahá'í community was almost ended though it was immediately reactivated as perestroyka loosened controls on religions and re-elected its own National Spiritual Assembly in 1992. The modern Bahá'í population of Azerbaijan, centered in Baku, may have regained its peak from the oppression of the Soviet period of about 2000 people, today with more than 80% converts although the community in Nakhichevan, where it all began, is still seriously harassed and oppressed.
Azerbaijan also has eleven Molokan communities related to the old rituals of orthodoxy. These communities do not have any church; their dogmas are fixed in a special book of rituals. They oppose the church hierarchy which has a special power.
Though the number of people belonging to the Albanian-Udi Christian religious community differs from that of others yet it is distinguished for its nature, content, religious and political importance. To date of 6,000 of 10,000 people of Udi ethnic community live in Azerbaijan including 4,400 people compactly residing in Nij village, Qabala district.
The Udis who resided on the territory of the Caspian sea shore, later accepted Christianity and spread this religion in the Caucasus Albania. The church of Kish (the Kish village of Shaki district)-the first Christian church-was considered the forefather of the Christian churches.
There is a Roman Catholic community in Baku.
The Vatican Foreign Minister Giovanni Lajolo visited Baku May 19, 2006. During the visit to last till May 25, he is scheduled to meet with President Ilham Aliyev and chairman of the Caucasus Clerical Office, Sheikh Allahshukur Pashazada. The prospects of ties between Azerbaijan and the Vatican will be discussed during the visit to take place with the support of the Azeri side. Lajolo is also due to participate at a number of ceremonies in Baku. 
Giovanni Lajolo made the following statements: "We are satisfied with the level of friendly communications between Azerbaijan and Vatican". "Azerbaijan really is a place of merge of religions and cultures. We highly estimate tolerance existing here. And we are very glad with intensive development of Azerbaijan. Vatican is interested in expansion of relations with Azerbaijan, and the purpose of my visit to Baku consists in carrying out of exchange by opinions on the further development of our ties." 
Unofficial opening of the first Catholic church in Baku is expected in April 2007. The construction started in September 2005. Official opening with the participation of Vatican officials is planned for the Summer of 2007.
Hinduism in Azerbaijan has been tied to cultural diffusion on the Silk Road. In the Middle Ages, Hindu traders visited present-day Azerbaijan for Silk Road trade. The area was traversed by Hindu traders coming mostly from Multan and Sindh (Pakistan). Back in ancient times, Hindus and Zoroastrians were considered cousins. They both came from the same origin. Azerbaijan means "Land of the Holy Fire" or "Protected by the Holy Fire". Hindus and Zoroastrians both use Fire as a main part of their religion. The Hindus also have The Fire Temple of Baku Today there are over 500-600 Indians in Azerbaijan, the total number of Hindu followers is around 1,000.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union all religious organizations fell into depression and split into pieces while the Religious Organization of Transcaucasia Muslims headed by akhund Allanshukur Pashazade elected the sheykhulislam in 1980 intensified its operation and tried to spread its influence to the entire Caucasus under the name of the Caucasus Muslims Department. The measures to implement these attempts were undertaken at the tenth session of the Caucasus Muslims held in Baku in 1998. The opening of CMD representations in Georgia and Dagestan was one of the significant steps in this field.
The chair of CMD ensures the consequent contacts with Islamic organizations and manages to establish close religious relations with neighbor Muslim countries. To date CMD controls the Islamic communities of Azerbaijan within its power, oversees the proper fulfillment of the rules of Shariat, progresses in breeding religious workers through the Islamic University of Baku, founded in 1991 and is responsible for all religious events occurring in the country. The faculty of theology of the State University of Baku has been training Islam and theology scientists since 1992.
Islam is represented mainly by the Shi'a branch (twelver) and in lesser extent Sunnism in Azerbaijan. The policy of openness recently conducted in the country created conditions for the spread of a number of other trends and Sufi sects in the regions of the country.
Through the years of independence the worshipping of holies strengthened in Azerbaijan and the new holy places were set up along with old ones. Bakhailism created its own assembly and expanded yearly.
The relations the state-religion are regulated by the State Committee for the Work with Religious Associations of Azerbaijan established by the decree of President Heydar Aliyev in 2001.
More recently, many Azerbaijani youths have drawn been increasingly drawn to Islam. Additionally, many young women in Azerbaijan have decided to dress in Islamic attire despite the risks associated including being rebuked by university personnel for wearing the hijab.
There are three separate communities of Jews (Mountain Jews, Ashkenazi Jews, and Georgian Jews) in Azerbaijan, who total almost 16,000 combined. Of them, 11,000 are Mountain Jews, with concentrations of 6,000 in Baku and 4,000 in Guba, 4,300 are Ashkenazi Jews, most of whom live in Baku and Sumgayit, and 700 are Georgian Jews.
The history of Zoroastrianism in Azerbaijan goes back to the first millennium BC. Together with the other territories of the Persian Empire, Azerbaijan remained a predominantly Zoroastrian state until the Arab invasion in the 7th century AD. The name Azerbaijan means the "Land of The Eternal Fire" in Middle Persian, a name that is said to have a direct link with Zoroastrianism. Today the religion, culture, and traditions of Zoroastrianism remains highly respected in Azerbaijan, and Novruz continues to be the main holiday in the country. Zoroastrianism has left a deep mark in the history of Azerbaijan. Traces of the religion are still visible in Ramana, Khinalyg, and Yanar Dag.
The constitution of Azerbaijan provides for freedom of religion, and the law does not allow religious activities to be interfered with unless they endanger public order. Cases of anti-semitism in Azerbaijan are rare, and the government of Azerbaijan maintains good relations with its Jewish community. The 2004 U.S. Department of State report on Human Rights in Azerbaijan noted some instances in which freedom of religion was violated, such as interference with the Juma Mosque due to the political activism of its Imam. All religious organizations are required to register with the government, and some groups claim that they have not been registered despite repeated applications. As a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh war, mosques in the Nagorno-Karabakh region have been abandoned or destroyed, and Armenian churches in Azerbaijan have likewise been inactive or damaged in the fighting.  Recently, there has been various reports of intolerance against observant Muslims. For example, police take a dim view of men who grow beards, and often force them to shave. Additionally, women who wear hijab, the religious scarf, are often viewed with suspicion by the authorities.  Despite the government's denial of the matter, the Azerbaijani police drew sharp criticism from lawyers for infringing the rights of observant Muslims.