Astana, Kazakhstan - Astana has once again become a center of inter-religious dialogue bringing together Muslims and Christians, Jews and Buddhists as well as representatives of Hinduism, Shintoism, and Zoroastrianism.
The Fourth Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions has opened in Astana. It assembled over 350 delegates from 40 countries. Representatives of leading religions of the world gathered at the round table to discuss the most pressing present-day issues. During the opening of the congress, Nursultan Nazarbayev spoke about the global crisis of moral values. Tolerance, peace and harmony are the things people should strive for. Kazakhstan has long demonstrated an example of how to build a dialogue between religions and nationalities, and today every citizen of Kazakhstan has the right to choose where to go - to church, mosque or synagogue. Mutual respect is the main principle of Kazakhstan’s society.
Nursultan Nazarbayev, PRESIDENT OF KAZAKHSTAN:
-Today, those immoral acts that are committed against religions are the same phenomena as the events in 20-30s with attempts to subvert temples. We strongly condemn such acts, and express our support for all religious leaders, all religions in their struggle against a surge of ungodly behaviour.
The President introduced a new effective model of international relations entitled “G-GLOBAL - The Great World” to the Congress delegates. This model has the most reliable mechanisms of protection against crises, including a fair trade system as well as an effective global currency. A new website dedicated to the formation and strengthening of global tolerance and trust can be a part of the G-GLOBAL electronic portal. Participants also agreed that new principles and norms of the modern world can be developed at such spiritual forums.
Abdullah Bin Abdul Mohsin Al-Turki, SECRETARY GENERAL, MUSLIM WORLD LEAGUE:
-Calling for peace through dialogue is a noble mission. We, Muslims, understand that the goals pursued by this spiritual forum are aimed at improvement of all world religions. We are grateful to the President of Kazakhstan for his initiative to hold this congress.
Giovanni Lajolo, EMERITUS PRESIDENT, GOVERNORATE OF VATICAN CITY STATE:
-Catholics believe that the world is not only God’s gift but is also a human responsibility. The topics we are discussing today, are very relevant, and I’m happy that I’m taking part in these discussions with all the participants.
Abdulrahman bin Muammar, SECRETARY GENERAL, KING ABDULAZIZ CENTRE FOR NATIONAL DIALOGUE (SAUDI ARABIA) :
-The Astana Congress is becoming more prestigious and meaningful for religious leaders all around the world. Here we talk about the matters we are concerned about regardless of our religion.
Next year marks 10 years since the convening of the First Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. At President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s request this date will be timed to the adoption of a special address of the Council of Religious Leaders.