Azerbaijan's parliament wants tougher control on religious organizations

Baku, Azerbaijan - Azerbaijan's parliament is preparing a new version of the law on freedom of religion to impose tougher state control over missionary organizations.

The effective freedom of religion law of 1992 does not reflect the current situation. "There are legal differences between the 1990s situation and nowadays," the parliament officials told Interfax.

"In a number of cases this law is inconsistent with Azerbaijan's 1995 Constitution," the officials said.

"Missionary organizations of unconventional religious movements have intensified their activities in Azerbaijan and some of them are with radical views. These organizations are trying to entice Azeri citizens to join their ranks. In a number of cases such activities of these organizations are the result of the flaws in the legislation, which is why a new version of the law freedom of religion is now needed," a parliament member said.

A revised version will be discussed in the parliament this year.