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29 May 2012
President Nursultan Nazarbayev received Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia who arrived in Astana to participate in the Fourth Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions.

During the meeting Nursultan Nazarbayev and the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia discussed a wide range of issues of spiritual and cultural cooperation between the two countries, as well as the agenda of the forthcoming forum. The President emphasized that fact that the Patriarch is participating in this spiritual forum significantly increases the credibility of the Congress and its value as a unique platform for inter-religious dialogue.

“The fact that you as an authoritative leader of the Orthodox Church arrived in Astana to take part in the Congress significantly increases the level and significance of this forum. The high mission of the Orthodoxy to consolidate the traditional moral human and social values is extremely important for us,” the President highlighted.

Moreover, the President pointed out that now it is important to preserve the traditional social foundations. That is something that only the religions that have for centuries been strengthening the faith and spirituality of people are capable of.

The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, in turn, expressed his gratitude to the Kazakh President for the initiative to host the Congress of World Religions.

"This initiative will require significant administrative and diplomatic efforts and also a good will. And the fact that the forum is taking place on a regular basis in Kazakhstan is useful not just for your country. It is useful for other countries and religious organizations too. We, the Russian Orthodox Church, are pleased to use the congress venue precisely for continuing our religious dialogue with many influential religious organizations. We do have a system of bilateral relations, but building a constant system of multilateral relationships is not something the Russian Church can do alone since it will require huge resources," the Patriarch said.

The Russian Patriarch also emphasized that Kazakhstan now serves as a good example for many post-Soviet countries thanks to its very friendly relationships.

To date, there are over 300 Orthodox associations, 9 dioceses, and 266 religious facilities operating in Kazakhstan.

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