CIS Inter-Religious Council to be set up in March

The leaders of major traditional religions – Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism - will create the CIS Inter-Religious Council at the second Inter-Religious Peacekeeping Forum slated to be held in Moscow on March 2-3, 2004.

Metropolitan Kirill for Smolensk and Kaliningrad, who heads the external relations department at the Moscow Patriarchate, told reporters that 300 CIS spiritual leaders would attend the forum. The yet-to-be-created Religious Council will comprise 22 top religious officials from the countries of the former Soviet Union.

The task of the Inter-Religious Forum and the future Council is to consolidate the efforts of the CIS clergymen for strengthening peace and becoming an additional impetus for the integration of the Commonwealth states.

Adolf Shayevich, the chief rabbie of the Russian Congress of Jewish Religious Organization and Associations, calls for working out a single position taking account of the common interests of all the confessions.

Shayevich emphasized that the five-year-old Russian Inter-Religious Council had been useful.

Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin, the head of the Council of Russian Muftis, believes that the leaders of Russia’s major religious confessions will have a constructive discussion of the common problems.

Metropolitan Kirill said that Russian President Vladimir Putin had supported the initiative to hold the 2nd Inter-Religious Peacekeeping Forum in Moscow.