CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS FOR 2005

Religion

Afghanistan

25 April—On a decision of a district court of Feyzabad, the Badakhshan Province, a 29-year-old married woman is stoned to death.
11-14 May—Mass protests against the Americans’ barbaric treatment of the Holy Koran take place in Kabul and in ten out of 34 provinces.
30 May—President of the Maulawi Council Maulawi Abdullah Fayaz is killed in his office.
31 May—A suicide bomber blows himself up in a mosque in Kandahar during the memorial service for Maulawi Fayaz, killing 19 and wounding more than 50 people.
19 August—The country endorses a new national anthem with the following words “This is our sacred call: ‘Allah Aqbar! ‘Allah Aqbar!’” (God is great.—Ia.T.).
20 OctoberWomen’s Rights editor Ali Mohaqiq Nasab is sentenced to two years in prison for publishing anti-Islamic articles.
20 October—About 4,000 Muslims take to the streets in the Khost Province, Eastern Afghanistan, to protest the murder of cleric Muhammad Khan in a mosque.
27 October—The government launches a campaign to enlist religious leaders to fight drug production.

Republic of Armenia

6 January—The Patriarchal Christmas and Theophany Liturgy and festive events dedicated to Christmas are held.
30 January—The encyclical of His Holiness Garegin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, dedicated to the 1,600th anniversary of the Armenian script is issued.
1 February—150 clerics from the dioceses of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh come to Holy Etchmiadzin for a meeting.
6 February—The encyclical of His Holiness Garegin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the tragic events of 1915 in the Ottoman Empire is publicized.
12 March—His Holiness Garegin II meets Premier of Georgia Zurab Nogaideli in Holy Etchmiadzin to discuss the problems of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia.
25 March—His Holiness Garegin II meets President of Russia Vladimir Putin in Holy Etchmiadzin.
27 March—Patriarchal Resurrection of Christ Liturgy and related events are held.
7 April—A delegation headed by the Catholicos of All Armenians and the Armenian Premier visits the Vatican to take part in the burial of Pope John Paul II.
13 April—The executive structure of the Committee for the Participation of the Orthodox Believers in the World Council of Churches meets in Etchmiadzin.
23-26 April—The delegation of the Armenian Apostolic Church takes part in the enthronement ceremony of newly elected Pope Benedict XVI.
24 April—An ecumenical service with the participation of the Catholicos of All Armenians, the president, representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches, heads of diplomatic missions, and other dignitaries is held in the Cathedral of St. Gregory the Illuminator in Erevan to commemorate those who died in the events of 1915.
2 May—The Armenian Church opens a free dental care center for the people in the city of Etchmiadzin.
12-14 May—His Holiness Garegin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, performs a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the Holy Places together with 80 other pilgrims.
31 May—Catholicos of All Armenians meets Alexy II, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, in Moscow.
1-31 June—The Catholicos of All Armenians visits the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of North America.
4 July—A delegation of the Episcopal Church of the United States headed by Bishop Frank Grizwald visits Holy Etchmiadzin.
August—Courses for upgrading the skills of teachers of the Armenian diaspora are given in Holy Etchmiadzin.
25-30 August—A delegation of spiritual heads of the churches of Canada visits Holy Etchmiadzin on the occasion of the 1,600th anniversary of the Armenian script.
3-6 September—Commission of the Armenian Apostolic Church discusses the possibility of canonizing the victims of the tragic events of 1915.
6 September—A Christian Education Center opens in Holy Etchmiadzin (previously the structure belonged to the Center of Christian Preaching).
11-13 September—On an invitation of the Saint Edigio community, the Catholicos of All Armenians takes part in an inter-church symposium dedicated to peace.
22 September—Discussion of the subject “The Present State of Public Education in Armenia and the Role of the Church in the Sphere of Education” takes place in Holy Etchmiadzin.
23-28 September—Members of Syndesmos, the World Fellowship of Orthodox Youth, visit Armenia.
1 October—44 teachers of Armenia are awarded Patriarchate certificates.
6 October—An international conference called “Translation of the Bible into Armenian and the Armenian Spiritual Written Heritage” takes place in Holy Etchmiadzin.
22 October—The Catholicos of All Armenians consecrates the Church of St. Lazarus, the only one in the city of Metsamor (the city built in Soviet times).
23 October—The Catholicos of All Armenians consecrates the Cathedral of St. Grigor Narekatsi (Gregory of Narek) in the city of Vanadzor.
1 November— 21 priests were ordained by a Patriarchal decree to the ministry in various dioceses.
16 November—A presentation is held of school textbooks for 4th to 10th graders in secondary schools of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh on “History of the Armenian Church,” published with the support of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
20 November—The Catholicos of All Armenians consecrates the St. Trinity Church in Erevan built for the care of souls in an area with a population of 250,000.
21-22 November—Delegation headed by Chief Rabbi of Israel Jona Metsger visits Armenia.

Azerbaijan Republic

8 February—A closed trial of six people accused of terrorist activities and ties with al-Qa‘eda ends.
21 February—Book by A. Iunusov Islam v Azerbaijane (Islam in Azerbaijan) is presented.
23 February—A Union of Theologians of Azerbaijan is set up.
26 February—Pope John Paul II sends a message to the president of Azerbaijan.
1-3 March—A delegation of the Azerbaijan parliament headed by R. Aslanova, deputy chairman of the Permanent Human Rights Commission of the Milli Mejlis, takes part in the international conference “The Prospects for a Christian-Islamic Dialog in the Contemporary World” (Amman, Jordan).
7 March—Dr. Habib Fathi, associate of the Institute of Central Asian Studies (France), delivers a report on the situation of the Muslims in France at a forum organized by the Dar-ul-Hikmat center.
9 March—During his visit to Saudi Arabia, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliev performs Umrah, the lesser pilgrimage.
18 March—The AMC organizes a conference called “The Sheikh-ul-Islam-ism in the Caucasus: Past and Present.”
18 March—The State Committee of Azerbaijan for Religious Organizations carries out a national conference on “Religious Communities Against AIDS” together with the UNDP.
23 March—The concluding conference within the framework of the “Religion and Freedom of Worship in Azerbaijan after 9/11” project, organized by the Center for Economic and Political Research with the financial support of the American National Endowment for Democracy, is held.
30 March—The State Committee for Religious Organizations, together with the public alliance “For a Pure World,” holds a seminar called “The Role of Religious Structures in Fighting Trade in People.”
6 April—A presentation of the National-Public Advisory Council under the Center of Religious Studies is held.
6-9 April—Hierarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church Metropolitan Sergiy of Nekresski and Ereti visits Baku.
30 April-1 May—The XIV National Congress of the Bahai of Azerbaijan meets in Baku.
8 May—A mosque financed by a charity in Saudi Arabia is closed in Sumqayit.
26 May—The Center for Religion and Democracy holds a seminar called “The Rights of Women in Islam” with the financial support of the Open Society Institute—Assistance Foundation.
30-31 May—The Institute of Oriental Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan holds an international scientific conference called “Islam in the Globalizing World.”
5-8 June—Primate of the Georgian Orthodox Church Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II visits Baku. The president of Azerbaijan awards the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia the Order of Glory for developing relations between the two countries.
10 June—The Baku eparchial administration of the Russian Orthodox Church publishes a book by hieromonk Alexy Nikonorov Istoria khristianstva v Kavkazskoy Albanii (History of Christianity in Caucasian Albania).
18 June—Seyid Javad Shahristani, personal representative of the spiritual leader of the Iraqi Shi‘as Ayatollah Sistani, begins his visit to Azerbaijan.
1 July—Chairman of the Committee meets students who obtained a religious education abroad.
3 July—The Center of Religion and Democracy organizes, with the financial support of the Institute of Open Society—Assistance Foundation, a meeting with refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh called “Unity in Islam.”
7 July—The Center of Religion and Democracy organizes, with the financial support of the Open Society Institute—Assistance Foundation, a meeting with the faithful of the Nasiminsky District of Baku called “Islam and Democracy.”
13 July—The national security structures carry out an operation in the settlement of Novkhany and detain about 30 young men suspected of religious extremism.
27 July—A scientific conference is held on “The Image of a Perfect Woman in Islam,” devoted to the birthday of Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad.
3 August—The Committee holds a seminar on “Religion and National Security.”
9-13 August—Committee Chairman R. Aliev visits Turkey.
23 August—Heads of the religious communities meet PACE Chairman René van der Linden.
24 August—The Center of Islamic Studies Irshad organizes a seminar on “The Politization of Religion: Evolution of Conscience or a Crisis of Spirituality?”
5-11 September—The film “The Sorcerer” by Azeri film director O. Mirkasimov receives the highest award for feature films at the First International Festival of Muslim Films “Golden Minbar” in Kazan.
7 September—The Center of Religion and Democracy organizes, with the financial support of the Open Society Institute—Assistance Foundation, a conference on “Religious Education.”
10 September—Crescenzio Cardinal Sepe, representative of the Pope, comes to Baku.
12 September—The Center of Islamic Studies Irshad organizes a seminar on “The Role of Religion in Building Up Civil Society.”
13 September—The Center of Religion and Democracy organizes, with financial support of the Open Society Institute—Assistance Foundation, a seminar “Religious Education.”
14 September—President Ilham Aliev receives Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II and awards him with the Order of Glory. The Patriarch awards the President with the Order of St. Sergius of Radonezh, 1st Degree.
14-15 September—Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II visits Azerbaijan.
15 September—Sheikh-ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazade receives Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II. The Patriarch awards him with the Order of St. Sergius of Radonezh, 1st Degree.
19-20 September—The Administration of the Muslims of the Caucasus and the Cultural Center of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Azerbaijan organize an international conference on “Solidarity of the Islamic Umma.”
21 September—The Highest Religious Council of the Peoples of the Caucasus set up in 1992 and headed by Sheikh-ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazade meets for a closed session.
22 September—The Committee, along with the UNDP, organizes another seminar called “Religion against AIDS.”
23 September—The Regnum Information Agency informs that an Albanian temple of the 4th century was discovered in the village of Chaparly in the Shamkir District.
3 October—President Ilham Aliev receives representatives of the Jewish communities on the occasion of the Jewish New Year.
22 October—A book by Doctor of History Sara Kasumova Khristianstvo v Azerbaidzhane v rannem srednevekov’e (Christianity in Azerbaijan in the Early Middle Ages) is published.
26 October—The Council of the Ghazi and the AMC Scientific-Religious Council award Heydar Aliev posthumously with the Sheikh-ul-Islam Order.
7-9 November—The AMC chairman takes part in the international conference on “Peace and Tolerance in Southeast Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia.”
11 November—The Jehovah’s Witnesses hold their international congress in Baku.
15 November—A presentation is held of a book by Doctor of History F. Mamedova Kavkazskaia Albania i Albany (Caucasian Albania and the Albanians).
20 November—A book by T. Gumbatova Zhizn nemtsev-kolonistov za Kavkazom (Life of German Colonists beyond the Caucasian Mountain Range) is published.
29 November—A book by A. Mansurzade Put Sheikhulislama (The Way of Sheikh-ul-Islam) is published.
1 December—A Union of Religious Organizations Daiarlar is organized.
5 December—The Jewish training complex Habad Or-avner opens a kindergarten in the Krasnaia Sloboda settlement.
6 December—The Second Congress of the Alliance of the Churches of the Seventh Day Adventists of Azerbaijan is held.
20 December—Celebrations on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the election of Sheikh-ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazade to the post of AMC chairman. The celebrations are attended by Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II and Chairman of the Council of Muftis of Russia Mufti Ravil Gaynutdin.
22 December—President Ilham Aliev receives a group of religious leaders headed by the AMC chairman. The Council of the Ghazi and the AMC Scientific-Religious Council award Aliev with the Sheikh-ul-Islam Order.
30 December—Rector of the Baku Islamic University and Deputy Chairman of AMC
S. Gasanly is awarded with the Order of Glory for his service in developing religious education.

Georgia

22 January—The Ministry of Education and Science and the Patriarchate sign a memorandum based on the agreement between the Georgian Patriarchate and the state.
March—The Georgian Eparchy of the Armenian Apostolic Church circulates a press release about the visit of an Armenian delegation to Georgia in April to discuss the problems of the Armenian church and cultural heritage and the status of the Armenian Eparchy in Georgia. The delegation meets the Patriarch of Georgia and members of the Synod.
6 April—The Georgian parliament amends Art 1509 of the Civil Code to allow religious organizations to register as non-commercial legal entities.
May—A coordinating center of religious relations in support of state development is set up at the Patriarchate.
At approximately the same time, a similar structure appears at the ombudsman office with the aim of protecting the rights of religious minorities and helping them integrate into the life of the state.
23 May—The World Orthodox Congress meets in the St. George Cathedral in Constantinople. The Georgian delegation votes against the dismissal of Patriarch Irineos I.
5-8 June—Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II arrives in Azerbaijan on an official visit, during which he meets head of the Spiritual Administration of the Muslims of the Caucasus Sheikh-ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazade, Parliament Speaker Murtuz Aleskerov, and President Ilham Aliev.
24-26 November—The Patriarchate and the nongovernmental organization, International Center of Christian Studies, hold the Second International Symposium on “Christianity in Our Life: Past, Present, and Future.”
22 December—Patriarch of Kiev and Ukraine Filaret congratulates Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, Holy and Most Blessed Ilia II on the anniversary of his enthronement and asks him to support the Ukrainian Church seeking independence.

Republic of Kazakhstan

26 February—The Law on Opposing Extremism is adopted.
22 March—A new Islamic Cultural Center (the main mosque) opens in Astana.
20 April—The president meets SAMK representatives in his Almaty residence, the meeting being also attended by Chief Mufti of Kazakhstan Absattar kazhy Derbesali and the chief imams of the country’s regions, as well as of Astana and Almaty.
4 June—The Fourth Kurultai (Congress) of the Muslims of Kazakhstan re-elects Absattar kazhy Derbesali as Chief Mufti.
14 July—Amendments and addenda are made to the Law on the Freedom of Religion and Religious Associations.
18 September—The Greco-Catholic Cathedral of the Intercession of the Mother of Our God in Karaganda is consecrated.

Kyrgyz Republic

21 January—National Kurban Ayt holyday.
February—Pilgrims to Mecca and Medina return home.
February-March, June-July—Activation of Hizb ut-Tahrir during the parliamentary and presidential election campaign.
24 June—Inter-confessional round table discusses the spread of drug addiction in the country.
July-August—A series of suicides among the teenagers instigated, according to the media, by Satanist rituals.
17 August—The head of state signs the Law on Opposing Extremist Activities adopted by the Zhogorku Kenesh on 30 May.
25 August—Inter-Departmental Council for Religious Affairs meets in the House of Government; it sets up a working group to draft a conception of State Politics in the Sphere of Relations with the Religious Confessions in the Kyrgyz Republic, in the preparation of which the relevant ministries, departments, NGOs, religious organizations, and academics took part.
September—A series of seminars for the leaders of Islamic communities of the country’s north about their involvement in dealing with socially important issues is held.
September-October—The draft conception of State Politics in the Sphere of Relations with the Religious Confessions in the Kyrgyz Republic is ready.
18 October—Sun Myung Moon, head of the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (Unification Church), arrives in the KR.
21 October—The republic’s president meets the Islamic spiritual leaders and theologians.
4 November—Over 60,000 attend the Orozo Ayt festival on the central square of Bishkek. For the first time, the festive namaz is shown live on TV.
11 November—By presidential decree No. 533, the State Commission for Religious Affairs under the republic’s government is transformed into the State Agency for Religious Affairs under the republic’s government.
17 November—A seminar on reproductive health is organized for the Islamic leaders.
1 December—The National Inter-Confessional Conference “HIV/AIDS in Public Morality. Interaction between State Structures, Confessions and Public Organizations to Prevent the Spread of HIV/AIDS in the Kyrgyz Republic,” the first in Central Asia, is held.
13 December—Government decision No. 581 on Organizing a Pilgrimage to Mecca from the Kyrgyz Republic is adopted.
December—Beginning of pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. The number of those willing to join increased.

Republic of Tajikistan

15 January—Religious legal treatise by Kh.A. Turajonzoda Ibodati zan dar maschid az nazari shariati islomi va konunguzorii Chumkhurii (How the Islamic Shari‘a and the Laws of the Republic of Tajikistan Treat the Female Mosque Attendance Issue) is published.
21 January—The Muslims celebrate the Kurban Bairam holiday.
27 February—The day of the parliamentary election which gives the IRPT two seats in the chamber of representatives (Majlisi namoiandagon).
15 April—Another stage of the international project “Secular-Islamic Dialog in Tajikistan” is launched in Dushanbe.
18-30 May—A delegation of Islamic leaders visits the United States within the international exchange program sponsored by the U.S. State Department.
20 June-10 July—Imams of the largest main mosques of Khujand in the country’s north are replaced.
6 July—Teaching at mosque educational groups in the Sogd Region is suspended on the strength of an official letter of the representative of the Committee for Religious Affairs under the RT Government in the Sogd Region.
10-20 July—Female madrasah students attend a camp seminar called “Secular Education” in the town of Kayrakkum.
12 July—The Jumhuriyat newspaper publishes an article by Z. Abdullo “Chuzhie klany” (Alien Clans) which ignites a months-long scandal between secular intellectuals and the Islamic clergy in the press.
20-31 July—Students of madrasahs and secular universities gather at the “Secular Education” seminar in the town of Kayrakkum.
27 July—Mirzo Abdullo Kalonzoda, prominent public and religious figure of Tajikistan, who served as the Kazi of the Muslims of Tajikistan between 1960 and 1988, dies at the age of 82.
1-10 August—A training seminar for the imams of the country’s main mosques is held in Dushanbe.
6 August—Eshoni Turajon, one of the republic’s prominent leaders and leader of the Sufi Qadiriyya Tariqah, dies in Vakhdat at the age of 72.
5 October—According to information supplied by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Sogd Region, activities of a large radical religious group which belonged to the Islamic Movement of Turkestan are stemmed.
10 October—At the UNESCO Forum in Paris, President of Tajikistan Rakhmonov objects “on principle to the use of the terms ‘Islamic extremism’ and ‘Islamic terrorism.’”
13 October—U.S. State Secretary Condoleezza Rice visits the central mosque of Dushanbe and the women’s seminary of the Imam Termizi Tajik Islamic University during her visit to Tajikistan.
20 October—President Rakhmonov meets Chairman of the Islamic Center and the Council of the Ulema of Tajikistan Khoji Amonullo Ne’matzoda.
25 October—Heads of the Ministry of Education ban hijabs in the country’s educational establishments.
28 October—The joint sitting of the heads of the Committee for Religious Affairs under the RT Government and the imams of the main mosques prohibits all citizens of the republic younger than 16 from attending mosques without written permission from their parents.
29 October—The IRPT Political Council makes a statement in which it qualifies the ban on hijabs as a violation of constitutional rights and freedoms and of the country’s laws.
3 November—The country celebrates the Muslim holiday of Ramazan.

Turkmenistan

12 January—Memorial services are held in mosques and Christian Orthodox churches in memory of those killed in the Geoktepe battle of 12 January, 1881.
11 February—The republic’s Muslim clergy attends a meeting organized by the Council for Religious Affairs together with the Mufti Administration under the slogan “Our Venerated Leader Saparmurat Niyazov is the True Patron of Spirituality” (Ashghabad).
5 May—Amnesty International publishes its report entitled Turkmenistan: The Clampdown on Dissent and Religious Freedom Continues.
3 July—President of Turkmenistan S. Niyazov orders a cutback in the number of students at the Department of Theology and for a list of unified religious rites to be published.
14 July—Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II informs S. Niyazov, with much diplomatic skill, that the question of transferring the parishes of the Tashkent and Central Asian eparchies in Turkmenistan to the Patriarch’s personal supervision will be discussed by the ROC MP heads.
24 October—On the occasion of the Muslim feast of Ramadan, the country’s leaders grant amnesty to 7,916 citizens of Turkmenistan and 229 foreigners.

Republic of Uzbekistan

1 January—Followers of all confessions celebrate the New Year proclaimed the Year of Health.
7-17 January—Christmas tree festivals for children are organized in the Cathedral of the Dormition in Tashkent.
21 January—The Holy Muslim Feast Kurban Hayit is celebrated.
23 January—A charity concert is organized in the Roman Catholic Church in support of the victims of the tsunami which hit Southeast Asia on 26 December, 2004.
10 February—The new 1426 year of Hegira begins.
21 March—Navruz is celebrated.
22 March—Pope John Paul II elevates the status of the Mission in Uzbekistan to the level of the Apostolic Administration.
3 April—All confessions express their condolences on the occasion of death of Pope John Paul II.
6 April—A liturgy is served in the Roman Catholic Church in memory of John
Paul II.
21 April—Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad.
1 May—Easter is celebrated in all the churches of the Tashkent and Central Asian Eparchy.
2 May—A festive Easter evening service is held, at which the Holy Fire delivered from Jerusalem is distributed; clerics receive awards on the occasion of Easter; greetings of Metropolitan of Tashkent and Central Asia are read.
6 May—Easter events are held in the new building of the Spiritual Administrative Center of Tashkent.
14 May—Father Maculewicz, head of the Apostolic Administration in Uzbekistan, is consecrated as a bishop in Rome.
25 May—The U.S. State Department adds Islamic Jihad to the list of international terrorist organizations.
19 June—The Trinity is celebrated in the parishes of the Tashkent and Central Asian Eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church.
26 June—A graduation ceremony is held at the Tashkent seminary.
12 July—A fundamental work—Islom ziyosi uzbegim siymosida—is presented at the Tashkent Islamic University under the Cabinet of Ministers.
28 July— Uzbekistan takes part in the work of the Council of the Jewish Sephardic Communities of the CIS (Moscow).
20 August—The publishers of the Holy Koran in the Brail system are awarded in the “Book of Fascinating Fate” nomination at the International Exhibition “The Art of Book Printing.”
2 September—Famous French singer Charles Aznavour visits the Church of Holy Virgin, the only church of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Central Asia.
5 September—Uzbekistan takes part in the First International Festival of Muslim Cinema “Golden Minbar” held to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of Kazan.
13-15 September—Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Josef Wesolowski visits Uzbekistan.
4 October—“Uraza” fasting and Koranic readings begin in all the mosques.
19 October—An ethnographic expedition of the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (known as the Kunstkammer) of the Russian Academy of Sciences begins its work in Uzbekistan.
20 October—A book by Premier of Malaysia Abdullah Badawi Islam Khadari (Islamic Civilization) is presented.
27 October—An inter-religious function devoted to the 40th anniversary of the “Nostra Aetate” Declaration on the Attitude of the Catholic Church to Non-Christian Religions is held in the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Tashkent.
3 November—Month-long fasting ends with Ruza Hayit, the First Meal after Fast feast. Festival morning prayers are held in all 1,947 mosques of Uzbekistan.
22 November—The Kuwait International Islamic Charitable Organization organizes charitable events among the Muslims.
13 December—A delegation of Saudi Arabia headed by Chairman of the Consultative Council (Shura) Saleh bin Homaed pays an official visit to Uzbekistan.
25 December—Christmas is celebrated.

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