In Southern Azerbaijan the Azerbaijani Turkish is spoken by 99 % of the population (25-30 million people). It is a Turkic language that is similar to the language spoken by the Turkish and Turkmen, and distinct from the Iranian state language, Farsi.
Azerbaijani Turkish is widely spoken in everyday life, and in Southern Azerbaijan also used in mosques. However, not many Southern Azerbaijanis are able to read or write in their mother language since the education is centralized and regulated from Tehran, and there is no state education performed in the language.
The Azerbaijanis are perceived to be followers of Islam and approximately 95% Shi’a and 5% Sunni. However, there are a large number agnostic theists and atheists.