Azerbaijan A Country Study - download pdf or read online

By Federal Research Division

ISBN-10: 141910862X

ISBN-13: 9781419108624

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In the early fourth century, kings of Armenia and Georgia accepted Christianity after extensive contact with the proselytizing early Christians at the eastern end of the Mediterranean. Following their conversion, Georgians remained tied by religion to the Roman Empire and later the Byzantine Empire centered at Constantinople. Although Armenian Christianity broke with Byzantine Orthodoxy very early, Byzantine occupation of Armenian territory enhanced the influence of Greek culture on Armenians in the Middle Ages.

1946 Western powers force Soviet Union to abandon Autonomous Government of Azerbaijan, formed in 1945 after Soviet occupation of northern Iran. 1959 Nikita S. Khrushchev purges Azerbaijani Communist Party. 1969 Heydar Aliyev named head of Azerbaijani Communist Party. ca. 1970 Zviad Gamsakhurdia begins organizing dissident Georgian nationalists. 1972 Eduard Shevardnadze named first secretary of Georgian Communist Party. 1974 Moscow installs regime of Karen Demirchian in Armenia to end party corruption; regime later removed for corruption.

In Azerbaijan, the Zoroastrian religion, a legacy of the early Persian influence there, was supplanted in the seventh century by the Muslim faith introduced by conquering Arabs. Conquest and occupation by the Turks added centuries of Turkic influence, which remains a primary element of secular Azerbaijani culture, notably in language and the arts. In the twentieth century, Islam remains the prevalent religion of Azerbaijan, with about three-quarters of the population adhering to the Shia (see Glossary) branch.

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Azerbaijan A Country Study by Federal Research Division

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