Round Table in Italy: Discussion of the Results of the VII Congress of Leaders of World Religions

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The Sapienza University of Rome, one of the world’s oldest universities and a prestigious Italian university hosted today a roundtable discussion on the outcomes of the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions held last September in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, DKNews.kz reports. The event was attended by representatives of the clergy of Italy, professors of the University, culturologists, religion scholars, journalists, graduate and undergraduate students, etc.

The roundtable, organized by the COREIS Islamic Religious Community and Sapienza University, considered the declaration adopted at the end of the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. Participants in the event expressed their views on the role of the forum of world religious leaders in ensuring interreligious and interfaith dialogue.

In particular, Ambassador of Kazakhstan in Italy Yerbolat Sembayev noted that the consolidation of civil society had played a key role in the establishment of independent Kazakhstan and its gaining international recognition. Interethnic harmony, religious tolerance and unity of the people became a guarantee of successful development of the country.

Ambassador Sembayev emphasized that Kazakhstan adheres to a policy of preserving and strengthening inter-ethnic harmony, and of upholding the right to freedom of religion. An important proof of this is the international initiative of Kazakhstan on convening the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions.

“Kazakhstan has endeavoured to ensure a dialogue between the leaders of world and traditional religions, built on the basis of trust and mutual understanding. The mission of the Congresses of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions is to open wide prospects for international cooperation in this field and contribute to overcoming such negative manifestations as violence, religious extremism and terrorism” Yerbolat Sembayev

During the event the address of Anna Maria Bernini, Minister of University and Research of Italy, to the participants of the roundtable was read, in which she noted that the declaration of the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions incorporated concepts revealing the value of religions as agents of social change, namely building a society in which peaceful coexistence is given a priority. According to the Minister, today's event provides an opportunity to reflect on the role and functions of different religions, including Judaism, Islam and Christianity which play an important role in geopolitics, unification of states and can become instruments of dialogue and cooperation.

Professors of Sapienza University Umberto Gentiloni and Alessandro Saggioro, President of the Islamic Community of Italy Abu Bakr Moretta, Chief Rabbi of the Jewish Community of Rome Riccardo Di Segni, Rector of the Pontifical City College “Propaganda of the Faithful” Armando Nugnes, Vice-President of the Islamic religious community “COREIS” Imam Yahya Pallavicini, representative of Bruno Kessler Foundation Ilaria Valenzi, graduate student of Sapienza University Bernadette Fraioli and others shared their views on the results of the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions.

In particular, Professor Gentiloni said the peculiarity of the seminar was that it unites education, religion and diplomacy, which contributes to dialogue between people and building relations between them.

According to President of the Islamic Community of Italy Abu Bakr Moretta, the Congress serves as an important platform for dialogue between different religious leaders.

In turn, vice-president of the Islamic religious community “COREIS” Imam Yahya Pallavicini told about his participation in the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Astana in September last year. He noted that Kazakhstan was the first state after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, to hold such Congress, thus gathering at one table the leaders of almost all major religions of the world.

Chairman of the Board of Nursultan Nazarbayev Centre for Development of Interconfessional and Inter-Civilisation Dialogue Bulat Sarsenbayev made a video address specially for the roundtable and said that experience gained during 20 years of holding congresses of world and traditional religions’ leaders was valuable and instructive.

“The Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions has become a significant contribution of Kazakhstan to the global process of interreligious and interfaith dialogue and has taken a special place in the efforts of the world community to strengthen the principles of harmony and tolerance, mutual understanding and cooperation. For Kazakhstan it was the great honour to collect together the most authoritative spiritual leaders of the world and to establish dialogue with the Head of Vatican and Catholic Church Pope Francis, the Supreme Imam of University “Al-Azhar” Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb, representatives of Russian Orthodox Church, Chief rabbi of Israel David Lau, Chief rabbi of Israel Yitzhak Joseph and all participants of a forum” Bulat Sarsenbayev

The roundtable discussion concluded with an exchange of views among the participants of the event.

DKNews International News Agency is registered with the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Registration certificate No. 10484-AA issued on January 20, 2010.

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