The 21st meeting of the Secretariat of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions will take place in Astana on October 11, to further Kazakhstan’s objective to promote its national values to the global community and showing an example of spiritual unity, informed a press release by the Embassy of Kazakhstan.
The piece titled ‘Where there is unity, there is prosperity‘ was written by Bulat Sarsenbayev, the Chairman of the Board of the Nazarbayev Center for the Development of Interfaith and Inter-civilizational Dialogue.
He stated that today, the world is experiencing a new era of globalization, and people are currently living in a complex period of human history, encompassing economic, social, environmental and humanitarian dimensions.
“States, international organizations and religious communities need to embrace a common approach based on virtue in such a period. It will only be possible through political, and religious mutual understanding, cooperation and peacemaking efforts among different countries and peoples. The countries, as well as world and traditional religions, can achieve success only through spiritual friendship, regardless of the complexity of the situation,” he stated in the release.
Sarsenbayev stressed that without spirituality and commitment to moral principles, it is impossible to establish order on a global scale.
“We are proud to say that representatives of several nationalities and ethnic groups live peacefully in Kazakhstan,” he said calling it one of the brightest achievements of the country during the years of independence.
The rich spiritual culture of our people, with its deep historical roots, served as the foundation for making important state decisions in the early days of our independence. Today, Kazakhstan has managed to create a civilized mechanism to preserve national unity on the path of democratic development, the release stated.
“We should foster a culture of civilised dialogue and mutual respect. Effective use of the country’s historical heritage and cultural potential is a crucial element in consolidating society and strengthening national identity. In this regard, Kazakhstan has many opportunities to position itself favourably in the international arena”, Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said in his State of the Nation address to the people.
“Kazakhstan is marking a confident step into the future through spiritual revival. The role of our state in promoting public spiritual harmony is to maintain a balanced relationship between secular and religious spirituality. It also aims to preserve and strengthen the values of modern civilization,” the release stated.
Sarsenbayev further emphasised that religion holds a significant place in human life, and plays a crucial role in the process of revitalization and exhibits great diversity. It also gives meaning to human life and provides moral and spiritual education.
He added that the leaders of religious communities play a special role in maintaining inter-ethnic and interfaith peace and harmony. Religious leaders can have a great influence in communicating decisions and concrete initiatives to their communities through dialogue.
“With this goal in mind, Kazakhstan presented one of the most significant peacekeeping initiatives – the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. It has allowed Kazakhstan to become a platform for peaceful inter-civilizational dialogue. The forum offers a chance for religious leaders and politicians to discuss how to resolve international conflicts, address global threats and overcome hatred and intolerance,” he stated in the release.
Established in 2003 as a direct response to the increase in interfaith disagreements and extremism following the September 11 terrorist attack in the United States, the forum has enhanced interfaith dialogue by bringing together religious leaders, it added.
Through the activities of this institute, Kazakhstan is promoting its national values to the global community and showing an example of spiritual unity.
In his published article in the Israeli “Jerusalem Post” President Tokayev stated that Kazakhstan hosted the triennial Congress of Religious Leaders in Kazakhstan.
Holding of the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Kazakhstan in September 2022 as well as the participation of esteemed guests serve as a clear testament to Kazakhstan’s reputation within the international community. It also reflects the high level of trust in President Tokayev and the people of the country.
The release further informed that on October 11, 2023, the 21st meeting of the Secretariat of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions will take place in Astana. The meeting will be chaired by Maulen Ashimbayev, the Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan and Head of the Secretariat of the Congress. Participants from more than 20 countries are expected to arrive.
“As a country that has always prioritized integrity and unity, as well as peace and harmony, we believe that humankind can prevent religious and national conflicts by actively following the principles of tolerance and fostering relationships between different ethnic groups and religious beliefs,” Sarsenbayev added in the release.