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USCIRF Report on Religious Freedom in Azerbaijan



Washington, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today released the following new report on religious freedom conditions in Azerbaijan:


Azerbaijan Country Update – This report provides an update on religious freedom conditions in Azerbaijan in 2023. Although Azerbaijan has in recent years ceased some problematic practices regarding state interference in its people’s practice of their religion or beliefs, the government has shown little interest in reforming laws and policies that violate Azerbaijan’s international human rights commitments. Within the last three years, the government has twice amended its religion law to introduce new restrictions on a variety of religious activities. The report describes the legislative framework that facilitates the official regulation of religious practice, concerns for religious sites in Nagorno-Karabakh, the ongoing repression of Shi’a Muslim religious activists, and the impact of the government’s refusal to allow conscientious objection.


In its 2023 Annual Report, USCIRF recommended that the U.S. Department of State include Azerbaijan on its Special Watch List for engaging in or tolerating severe violations of religious freedom. In December 2022, USCIRF released a report on authoritarian states’ promotion of religious tolerance.

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The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is an independent, bipartisan federal government entity established by the U.S. Congress to monitor, analyze, and report on religious freedom abroad. USCIRF makes foreign policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress intended to deter religious persecution and promote freedom of religion and belief. To interview a commissioner, please contact USCIRF at media@uscirf.gov.

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