German experts discuss Kazakh model of interfaith and intercivilizational development
NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFORM - On November 25, 2021, in the format of a videoconference, a round table was held on the topic «Interfaith dialogue for peace and harmony», organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the Federal Republic of Germany with the assistance of N. Nazarbayev Center for Development of Interfaith and Intercivilization Dialogue, Kazinform has learnt from the center’s press service.
The discussions were attended by Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Religious Affairs of the Ministry of Information and Social Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan Bauyrzhan Bakirov, Chairman of the Board of N. Nazarbayev Center for Development of Interfaith and Intercivilization Dialogue Bulat Sarsenbayev, member of the Senate Council under the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, President of the International Association «Peace through Culture» Tolegen Mukhamedzhanov, head of the Department for Religious Affairs in International Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany Ebba Scholl, senior researcher at the German think tank «Science and Politics Foundation» Sabina Riedel, as well as experts, journalists, representatives of non-governmental structures of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Germany, and public figures.
In his speech, the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Germany Dauren Karipov informed about the traditions of interethnic and interfaith tolerance in Kazakhstan and explained the main directions of the state's ongoing work to ensure the observance of religious freedoms of citizens.
«The reforms carried out and being carried out in all spheres of life of our country have radically changed society - we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of our Independence as a strong state and a united people. During this time, our republic has achieved significant success in political and socio-economic development, as well as the revival of its rich spiritual and cultural heritage», - the diplomat said.
In turn, Chairman of the Board of N. Nazarbayev Center Bulat Sarsenbayev emphasized the role of Elbasy N. Nazarbayev in strengthening interfaith dialogue in Kazakhstan and around the world, which initiated a significant and authoritative platform - the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, held since 2003, in including with the participation of representatives of German religious communities.
«Taking a course towards modernization and development of the principles of spiritual diplomacy, Kazakhstan has firmly consolidated its position in the international arena. A vivid confirmation of this was the global initiatives of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Elbasy N. Nazarbayev, which not only ensured the recognition of the country and laid the foundation of trust in Kazakhstan as a new member of the world community, but also made a significant contribution to strengthening regional and global stability, to promoting interfaith and interreligious dialogue in the world», - said Chairman of the Board of Center.
It should be noted that thanks to the state policy of the country aimed at ensuring freedom of religion, today Kazakhstan is a safe and comfortable home for more than 3800 religious associations, representing 18 confessions and more than 100 ethnic groups.
The invited experts went on to exchange views on topics such as national identity, interreligious and intercultural relations, and also compared the history of state-church relations in Germany with development models in modern Kazakhstani society and other countries.
In particular, Professor S. Riedel and researcher at the German Center for East European and International Studies B. Eschment agreed on the importance of interfaith and interethnic dialogue based on the secular nature of the state, financial independence of religious organizations, mutual respect, pluralism and tolerance, for the formation of a solid Kazakhstani identity among various ethno-religious groups in Kazakhstan.
«Despite the fact that religion-related issues are viewed as a personal matter, representatives of various ethnic groups identify themselves as Kazakhstanis», researcher Eschment summed up the results of her recent research.
Recall that the round table was organized in support of the implementation of the initiatives of the leadership of Kazakhstan to promote the goals of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. The upcoming VII meeting of the Congress on the topic «The role of leaders of world and traditional confessions in the social and spiritual development of mankind in the post-pandemic period» will be held on September 14-15, 2022 in Nur-Sultan.