On 14-15 September 2022, the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions will be held in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.
More than 100 delegations from 50 countries of the world will take part in the forum. The theme of the event will be “The role of leaders of world and traditional religions in the spiritual and social development of mankind in the post-pandemic period”.
The Congress will be attended by the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. In general, the list of the forum participants is quite impressive. Among them are Pope Francis, the Supreme Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad At-Tayeb, the Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel Yitzhak Joseph as well as spiritual leaders of Islam, Christianity (all three branches – Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Protestantism), Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, Shintoism and a number of other religions and confessions.
This year, for the first time, representatives of Jainism, the ancient religion of India, will attend the Congress.
UN Secretary-General Guterres Antonio and Secretary-General of the World Islamic League Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Isa will make video addresses.
“Religious leaders will gather at the same table, including those confessions that in the past had a complicated history of relationships. Thus, spiritual leaders demonstrate an example of good will and willingness to overcome any differences. This is the main mission of the Congress,” the organizers of the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions note.
In addition, during the Congress days, the Pope Francis will hold a large-scale religious mass with the participation of thousands of pilgrims. Representatives of any religion and confessions will be able to join the prayer.
It is noteworthy that at the Congress, along with traditional topics such as “religious dialogue and interaction”, will raise other issues relevant to the entire world community. These are women in the modern world and the role of religion in achieving gender equality, quality education and religious education, the contradictions of digital development and the problems of digital inequality.
The Congress will adopt the final Declaration, which will reflect the vision of the current problems of our time, possible ways to resolve them, as well as the intentions of the leaders of world religions, their appeal to the international community.
It is expected that the Declaration will be approved as an official document of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.
The First Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions was held in Kazakhstan in 2003. Subsequent Congresses were held every three years in 2006, 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2018. And it is no coincidence that Kazakhstan is hosting such a forum, aimed at searching for universal guidelines in world and traditional forms of religions.
Kazakhstan’s society, with its confessional diversity, has accumulated quite a solid experience in building interreligious tolerance and harmony. Representatives of more than 100 ethnic groups and 18 confessions live in the country. ///nCa, 13 September 2022