Located in the Caucasus region of Eurasia and at the cross-roads between the West and the East, Azerbaijan hasnot onlyconsiderable strategic importance; it also has symbolic value as an example of openness and exchange. At different times in history, the present-day territory of Azerbaijan was part of several empires as well as the homeland of various ethnic groups which contributed to the shaping of its current cultural, religious and linguistic identity. Though massively populated by Muslims (96%), Azerbaijan is a secular country where people of different confessions – Islam, Christianity, Judaism and others – have lived together for centuries in peace and harmony.
Whilst travelling through Gabala in the north of Azerbaijan I took the time to experience a small part but significant part of the religious tolerance within the country. Religion is 100 per cent removed from the state here and freedom of religion is something you feel brings pride and togetherness.
The village of Kish where the church of St.Elysee is located, is situated several kilometres away from Sheki and closely related with this ancient Azerbaijanian town, its history and culture.
Under the Albanian period in the history of Daghestan I mean the 1-4 centuries A.D. which are different from Daghestan archaeology-accepted chronological limits of the period under consideration – 3 century B.C. – 4 century A.D. Going into no details to corroborate my assumption, I’d rather note that it was in the 1-4 centure A.D. that a part of the territory of the present-day Daghestan formed the then Caucasian Albania.