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Romanian Orthodox Church participated at the Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions held in Astana in June

This year Romania was represented at the Congress by His Eminence, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Romanian Orthodox Metropolis of Western and Southern Europe Joseph: «Having taking part in the Fifth Congress of world and traditional leaders, conveyed by the president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, I would like to express my gratitude and congratulations to the organisers.

Kazakhstan is leading the way of interfaith, interethnic and intercultural cohabitation and dialogue in this part of the world. Its numerous ethnic groups are treasured as ‘a national heritage’. The aim of the initiative is to draw together political and religious leaders that would then collaborate in the mutual dialogue of faith and religion as well as in combating the escalating threat of religious extremism, a ‘dangerous weapon in the hands of those who deliberately distort people beliefs for their deceitful ends.’

Amongst the main aims of the organisation is to promote religious common values in dialogue with political establishments in order to counteract extreme ideologies that conduce to intolerance, enmity and hatred.

The Congress also looked into the impact of religion on the formation of the young and their values as faith leaders have strong influence in reaching out to the hearts and minds of the young people.
In another section, on modern trends in religion and politics, the role of religion was emphasised as an instrument to enhance the dialogue of cultures and civilizations in the realisation of peace, mutual cooperation and cohabitation between people».

The Congress was initiated by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev as the Head of State and politician, in full measure realizing the increased role of the religion in the society.

Earlier the organizers of similar events were only representatives of leading religions and denominations. Among other similar events aimed at establishing interdenominational dialogue were the meetings of representatives of world religions and denominations held in Italian city Assisi in October 1986 and January 2002.

By the idea of the President of Kazakhstan the dialogue between the leaders of world and traditional religions formed on common aspects and exact information on each other opens wide prospects for mutual cooperation and contributes to overcoming such negative manifestations of our time as violence, fanaticism, extremism and terrorism. The dialogue of the religions as the conceptual idea of the First Congress and means of disputes settling was opposed to methods of violence and terror in the interdenominational and interethnic relations.

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