In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Merciful!
The brother countries of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are united by common ethnic roots, language, history, religion, culture, as well as historical traditions of inter-ethnic and inter-religious tolerance. Countries are located at the crossroads of world civilizations, which is why the preservation of the religious and cultural diversity of nations is an important part of the policy of our countries. Praise be to Allah, both in Kazakhstan and in Azerbaijan, all conditions have been created to ensure and develop multiculturalism, peace and inter-religious cooperation. Considering these factors, Kazakhstan, in particular, initiated the establishment of the Congress of World and Traditional Religions. This idea comes naturally from the way of life and traditions of our societies, in which people of different nationalities and religions have lived in peace and harmony for many centuries.
Accordingly, this event, which is attended by influential religious figures, representatives of international organizations, scientific and public circles, is being held in Kazakhstan, a country of mutual understanding and tolerance. Kazakhstan, connecting East and West through the historic Silk Road corridor, makes an invaluable contribution not only to the expansion of economic cooperation, but also to the development of relations between religions and civilizations. The atmosphere of tolerance that has been formed over the centuries, the ethnic and cultural diversity that has been preserved and the support for the national and spiritual solidarity of the Turkic-speaking peoples, as well as their socio-political stability, constitute a historical achievement to ensure the sustainable and successful development of Kazakhstan.
The Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions plays an important role in developing dialogue and cooperation between people and religions. As a permanent participant of the Congress and member of its Secretariat, I would like to highlight an important feature of this forum. The congress is a permanent platform not only for dialogue between spiritual leaders, but also for meetings and exchanges of views between politicians, public figures and representatives of religions.
It should be noted, unfortunately, that cases of ideological and practical threats such as xenophobia, Islamophobia, Christianophobia and anti-Semitism are on the increase in the world, which constitute serious obstacles to international stability and security. . Today, calls for hatred that provoke aggression, violence and discrimination have become a real political and social threat. Due to the ideological impact of these appeals, stability in various regions is undermined, leading to split and conflict between peoples, war crimes and genocide.
It is the duty of all political and religious leaders to refrain from speeches that incite hatred and confrontation under the pretext of freedom of expression and democracy. I believe that as religious, political, scientific and public figures, having shown solidarity during the Seventh Congress, we will strongly condemn in the final document all forms and manifestations of terrorism, incitement to hatred, xenophobia , the use of religion for personal or objective political gain, as well as acts of extremism against believers in churches, mosques, synagogues and other religious temples, and will raise our voices of protest against insults to symbols and shrines religious.
In the speeches heard at the Sixth Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, held in October 2018 in Astana, as well as in the documents adopted by the Congress, we have emphasized and emphasized in detail the special role of religions in achieving the peace and security. , mutual understanding and solidarity among peoples in a changing world. At that time, we did not yet know what adversities we would encounter in the near future. We could not imagine that global threats and dangers, among which the challenge of climate change, would be complemented by a new disaster that shook the whole world – COVID-19.
Preparations for the Seventh Congress are taking place precisely at a difficult time, when the whole world, including the religious sphere, is forced to adapt to new living conditions, when cooperation between state and religion has become difficult. of particular importance in overcoming threats, challenges and problems, as well as their consequences.
We are confident that Kazakhstan, as noted by Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, will continue to do everything possible for peace and stability on the planet and will continue to ensure the activities of the congress, filling it with new content . I am convinced – and I have always stressed this – that it is only possible to obtain real results in the fight against the negative tendencies that are current in the modern world with the direct cooperation of governmental, public figures and nuns. At numerous international events, in particular during the 19th meeting of the Secretariat of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, held in October 2021, I have repeatedly underlined the relevance of this historically significant initiative for the development of dialogue between religions. and civilizations, proposed by Kazakhstan 19 years ago. The main element that reflects the historical significance of the Congress is that this initiative was the first in the modern world, a qualitatively new platform for interreligious and intercultural dialogue, which brought together political, public figures and religious leaders .
We express our deep gratitude to President Tokayev for the implementation of the mission at the highest level, which aims to unite the efforts of representatives of world and traditional religions, statesmen and public figures to achieve peace and to security in the world. The friendly relations between President Tokayev and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev enjoy the overwhelming approval of our communities. Fraternal greetings from the leader of Kazakhstan on the occasion of Azerbaijan’s victory in the patriotic war were received with great gratitude.
Praise be to Allah, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan have many opportunities for cooperation and deepening of bilateral and multilateral relations for the development and promotion of common cultural and spiritual values in all areas of mutual interest, especially in the framework of the Organization of Turkish States. In this regard, it should be noted that thanks to the comprehensive support of Kazakhstan, the idea of establishing a Council of Religious Leaders of the member countries of the Organization of Turkic States has become a reality and is close to its final implementation. We regard this as our common moral vision, because promoting the contribution of Turkish-Islamic spiritual and cultural heritage to world civilization is of great importance.
We are convinced that the independence and statehood of Kazakhstan will be further strengthened and that the brotherly Kazakh people will continue to follow the path of progress, relying on the unity of the state and the people. . We also count on the will of the Almighty that the Seventh Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, devoted to current and topical issues, will be held in the spirit of constructive discussions and contribute to the development of dialogue between civilizations, and the promotion of universal human values such as friendship and mutual understanding.
The author is Sheikh-ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazade, Chairman of the Caucasus Muslim Council, Co-Chairman of the Inter-Religious Consultative Council of the Commonwealth of Independent States.