Historical background to the document "Speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the opening ceremony of the Chief Baku Procathedral (March 24, 2003)"

As Baku turned into the oil industrial center of the world an eparchy was established there in 1905 for the regulation of the life of the Russian Christian Orthodox Community. The orthodox organizations at the western coast of the Caspian Sea were included into it.

The Russian Orthodox Church also faced the oppression of the communists in the Soviet period and had many losses. In Baku only three out of seventeen churches remained, the activity of others was prohibited, the priests were exiled from the country. In 1934 the Baku and the eparchy of the pre-Caspian regions were closed.

The great opportunities and perspectives were created for the modern Orthodox priests in 1991 after the restoration of the independence of Azerbaijan and becoming a democratic, legal, secular country. In 1998 the Russian Orthodox Church Community in Baku and pre-Caspian regions was restored. The Russian Orthodox organizations both in Daghestan and in Azerbaijan were given to its control.

In 2003 the main cathedral was inaugurated after the reconstruction by an Azerbaijani businessman in Russia Aydin Gurbanov. Heydar Aliyev awarded the bishop of Baku and pre-Caspian regions with the medal “Glory”, the supreme prize of Azerbaijan.

“90 Instants of the Great leader”, Heydar Aliyev Heritage research center, “Sharq-Qarb”, Baku-2013, p.232