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Russia and Kazakhstan’s contribution to inter-religious dialogue
ICC Note:
“The capital of Kazakhstan became a traditional dialogue platform for representatives of world religions on acute questions of supporting and providing peace based on tolerance, mutual understanding, and cooperation.” And while this may be true, it takes more than words. Later in this article, Father Peter of the Russian Orthodox University asks for religious material to be translated into Russian. He explains that for religions to understand each other, they must understand themselves. The reason he has to ask for this is that much religious literature in Kazakhstan is often censored. While this article attempts to show that Kazakhstan extends religious freedom and encourages different religions to work together, the truth is that this is not what life is like for religious minorities in everyday life.
06/21/2013 Kazakhstan (Vestnik)- The deputy chairman of the Kazakh Agency on Religious Affairs Marat Azilkhanov notes that there has been no such a universal forum before it. “In a decade the forum became an important dialogue platform. Heads of the world religions come to our capital once in three years. Astana welcomed delegations from all over the world four times. The obvious success of Kazakhstan and its leader’s initiative is representation and the high level of participants of the inter-religious forum. We are glad that the idea of Kazakhstan on holding the Astana Forum of Religious Leasers is supported by the Russian Federation.”

Father Peter, president of the Russian Orthodox University and St. John the Evangelist Russian Orthodox Institute, believes that today it is necessary to teach people religion. “Because inter-religious communication is impossible without knowing our own religious traditions. If a Christian doesn’t know the Christian tradition, he cannot communicate with representatives of Islam, and vice versa. Today we have found out that the common problem for us is absence of a united anthology of religious culture. It concerns both Christianity and Islam. We lack canonical texts translated in Russian, showing depths of our theology. The revolution broke very interesting projects of translating in Russia of Fathers of the Church; and they are still non-translated. I believe this situation is true as well for Islam, Buddhism, Judaism. Such forums of the leaders of the world religions can contribute to establishing a international Eurasian editorial group for development of an anthology of the world religious cultures, which will enable us to have necessary texts for teaching our religious groups, for studying our religious traditions thoroughly,” Father Peter suggested.

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