The fund will be paid via the state budget, grants, loans and donations
Starting from May 2018, the Islamic clergy in Azerbaijan will receive assistance from the Spiritual Values Promotion Foundation. The amount received per person will vary from 200 to 400 manats (between 117 to 235 dollars) and depends on the clergyman’s rank. The average salary in the country is about 500 manat in comparison.
However, not everybody will benefit: the Spiritual Values Promotion Foundation, together with the Department of Caucasus Muslims (to which it reports), is currently preparing a list of clergy members who will be supported.
“Support will be provided to officially appointed religious figures such as those who signed an agreement with the Spiritual Values Promotion Foundation,” Mubariz Gurbanli, the chairman of the The State Committee on Religious Associations of the Republic of Azerbaijan said to trend.az.
According to him, the Department of Caucasus Muslims and the Spiritual Values Promotion Foundation intend to monitor the work of the religious figures who will receive material support.
The Spiritual Values Promotion Foundation was established in October 2017. In early 2018 6.1 million manat was approved and allocated from the state budget to the Foundation.
It is assumed that the Foundation will also have other sources of funding such as donations which used to go directly to the mosques and had not been controlled by the state.
More than 96% of the population of Azerbaijan professes Islam. Religion is separated from the state, and the constitution declares freedom of religion. Christian, Jewish and other forms of religious communities freely operate in the country. The authorities however constantly have to fight radical Islamism and some other sects.