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The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic proclaimed its independence in 1918 and became the first democratic state in the Muslim-oriented world.The country was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1920 as the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.
In the course of the next century, the Safavids converted the formerly Sunni population to Shia Islam, The Safavids allowed the Shirvanshahs to remain in power, under Safavid suzerainty, until 1538, when Safavid king Tahmasp I (r.The Upper Paleolithic and late Bronze Age cultures are attested in the caves of Tağılar, Damcılı, Zar, Yataq-yeri and in the necropolises of Leylatepe and Saraytepe.Early settlements included the Scythians in the 9th century BC.The region and seven adjacent districts outside it became de facto independent with the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1994.These regions are internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan pending a solution to the status of the Nagorno-Karabakh, found through negotiations facilitated by the OSCE.Most Azerbaijanis, however, do not actively practice any religion, and the country has been seen to be one of the most irreligious countries in the Muslim world, with 53% stating religion has little to no importance in their lives, according to Pew Research Center and Gallup polls.
The original etymology of this name is thought to have its roots in the once-dominant Zoroastrianism.Caucasian Albanians, the original inhabitants of northeastern Azerbaijan, ruled that area from around the 4th century BC, and established an independent kingdom.The Sasanian Empire turned Caucasian Albania into a vassal state in 252, while King Urnayr officially adopted Christianity as the state religion in the 4th century.Azerbaijan has diplomatic relations with 158 countries and holds membership in 38 international organizations.and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.In the first half of the 7th century, Caucasian Albania, as a vassal of the Sasanians, came under nominal Muslim rule due to the Muslim conquest of Persia.