The speech of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev at the opening of the IV Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions
Honorable Heads of Delegations!
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Today Kazakhstani land is filled with the light of the highest spirituality and blessing.
We are highly proud to welcome for the fourth time in Astana religious and spiritual leaders of the world!
We cordially welcome all the Heads and members of 85 delegations from 40 countries of the world, who have come to the IV Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions.
Nine years ago 17 delegations from 17 states of the world participated in the first Congress.
Quantitative and qualitative growth of global significance of our forum is evident.
The Congress of the Leaders of International and Traditional Religions has become a unique component of international dialogue.
We are grateful for the attention to the Congress given by the UNO, UNESCO and ISESCO, as well as the leaders of other international associations, famous politicians and experts.
Under the cone of Peace and Harmony Palace in Astana we have always discussed current issues of enhancement of mutual understanding between religions and cultures.
In difficult times of the beginning of the third millennium noble initiatives of previous Congresses were supported by international community.
They to a great extent assisted for the world not to fall over the edge of “civilizations collission”.
By all difficulties of global development, powerful impulses to dialogue remain to be demanded trends of modern common international processes.
And I’m convinced that the Fourth Congress shall go down in the history as an important part of global dialogue, leading to the establishment by the humankind of the basics of fair world order in the XXI century.
Honorable Participants of the Congress!
Just now the first meeting of Religious Leaders’ Council has been held.
I’ll remind that my offer to create such an institution was supported by the previous Congress three years ago.
The Council included the representatives of different world confessions – Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shinto, Zoroastrianism.
In the essence, it is the first working mechanism of multilateral format of interaction between religions. The establishment of the Council is able to draw all inter-confessional dialogues to a new level.
First of all, within its frameworks we’ll develop interaction with other international dialogue institutions.
Secondly, we establish a new permanent body, possessing great potential, in order to become a significant instrument of global peacemaking eventually.
Its authority and potential give an opportunity to receive addresses and appeals also in terms of possible conflicts.
Thirdly, within the frameworks of the Council it is important to establish global monitoring of observance of the believers’ rights and freedoms.
Fourthly, spiritual power of religions, united within the frameworks of the new Council, I’m sure, is able to play the role of a significant element of keeping balances within the processes of world development.
Fifthly, the work on arrangement and holding of all following Congresses shall be enhanced in quality.
I’m grateful to all the Leaders of the world and traditional religions, who positively perceived our initiative and gave their consent to become the first members of the established Council.
Honorable Heads of Delegations and Guests of the Congress!
In course of 9 years of history the Congresses of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions have been always held at the heat of complicated global processes.
First Congresses were called as the reply for the threat of “collisions” of religions and usage of religions for evil goals of international terrorism and extremism.
The previous Third Congress took place at the very heat of the most powerful world financial and economic crisis.
We also hold the current forum in a crucial time for the whole world.
Global transformation of the world order has begun.
Humankind in the essence is at the stage of system crisis.
Global recession, that the world faces, threatens many communities with wide-range social blast.
Among more than one billion of unemployed people in the modern world, a half comprises young people, including also well-educated ones.
Absence of the possibility to work decently and reduction of social guarantees is accompanied by radicalization and criminalization of youth.
At the same time, global crisis of moral and ethic values grows.
We can’t ignore propagation and popularization of “pseudo-freedoms” in many societies.
Perverted views on the nature of human interrelations are being attempted to represent as the norms of modern community.
Motivation for fair labor is substituted with the intention for quick profit by any means.
And such “anti-morality” is often represented as the Absolute.
A peculiar sign of the development of moral and ethic crisis in the world includes the events of aggressive smearing of ministers of worships, the attempts to push out religions on the roadsides of social processes.
The facts of blasphemous attitude towards religious shrines are observed in many countries, towards almost all religions.
These are public burning of holy books, desecration and arson of mosques, temples, synagogues and other cult constructions, discredit of ministers, beating and murdering of servants of the flock.
Why does this happen?
Religion is one of the most strong protection barriers against absence of spirituality and greed.
Many times exactly religion remained, sometimes even the only, keeper of people’s wisdom, culture and traditions.
Kazakhstani society knows about this thanks to its own experience of living in terms of Godless Soviet regime, especially during the period of Stalin persecutions.
The participants of the Congress tomorrow shall visit the historic-architectural memorial to the victims of political repressions, erected at the site of the “islands” of former sinister “GULAG Archipelago”.
This was the so-called “ALZHIR” – “Akomolin Camp for Parricides’ Wives”.
Those years millions of innocent people were exterminated in the USSR.
Including also dozens of thousand ministers of Islam, Christianity and other confessions.
This was a mournful price, paid by religions for persistence and inflexibility of the followers and preachers of the Faith in the Maker.
Today those immoral actions against religions are the same phenomena as the events of 20-30s in course of which they tried to “overthrow” the temples.
We decisively judge such vagaries and express our support for all religious leaders, all religions within their counteraction against the splash of militant atheism.
Modern world is at the crossroads.
That is why hundred times is more topical the issue to be discussed at the Congress.
Never before Peace and Harmony were so demanded within the global history of humankind.
It must be admitted, that in modern world there is deficiency of positive concepts of world order in the modern world.
Humankind, as it repeatedly was in past, uses new openings, given by the Mighty Power, not always for good.
Thus, the top information technologies and newest communications called to unite peoples, are often used for dissociation of people, erection of new barriers inside societies and between countries.
Network resources instead of spreading of knowledge serve to propagate sins, spout flows of lies, low human instincts, fratricidal callings and hatred.
Undermined are moral and ethic ties of any community – family, traditions of parenting, succession of generations, etc.
All these are the bitter realities of the modern world.
In my turn, I would like to express my point of view, which results from my own political experience.
It’s obvious that in terms of globalization it is only possible to draw the world economy out of recession with joint efforts of the whole community of nations.
Everybody acknowledges this.
That is why a week ago during Astana Forum I suggested working out and accomplishing in the XXI century an efficient model of international interrelations.
I called it "G-GLOBAL – Great World".
This is flourishing global economy, reliably secured from crises with efficient international currency, fair trade and cooperation system.
This is the world, where hi-techs serve for the sake of happiness and well-being of all people.
This is the world of justice and trust between peoples and states with strong basics of regional and global security.
This is a tolerant community of nations, where all troubles are solved on the ground of consent and respect.
This is our planet which is freed from the threat of nuclear destruction for good, which is free from the mass destruction weapons.
I believe that humankind possesses knowledge and practice, to create such a model, grounded on five fundamental principles.
Firstly, this is evolutionary development of social-political systems, refusal of revolutions as forms of political development.
In the XXI revolutions, but not religions, has become the opium for peoples.
Secondly, this is justice, equality and consensus in interrelations between all the states.
Thirdly, global transparency, declining any “double standards” and “backstages” within international affairs.
Fourthly, constructive multi-polarity as the system of geopolitical balances, freed from block psychology of the past century.
And finally, fifthly, global tolerance and trust as the primordial for intercultural, inter-confessional and inter-state cooperation in the XXI century.
I consider that multiculturalism, ethnic and confessional variety is not the challenge for society but a great advantage.
In the XXI century tolerance becomes the key factor for development and growth of innovational economy.
We shouldn’t ignore the fact that for the last 30 years those countries succeeded mostly, which possess ethical and cultural pluralism.
Today’s world needs generalization and development of such experience.
Within this the Congress of the Leaders of International and Traditional Religions could act as the leading dialogue platform, directly aimed at idea-spiritual designing of the basics of fair world order in the XXI century.
Today global dialogue is not only about forums and meetings.
By interactive communication more and more people in the whole world participate in it.
In this aspect, the idea and format of G-GLOBAL suggested by Kazakhstan give opportunities for global mutual understanding and tolerance.
That is why I suggest, with the blessing of the Fourth Congress participants, to create an Internet-resource, devoted to the issues of formation and enhancement of global tolerance and trust.
Probably it could become a part of common electronic portal of G-GLOBAL.
Within its frames it is important to anticipate interactive sessions of the Council of Religious Leaders and the Secretariat of the Congress, holding of the constant online-forum for a wide range of Internet-users.
I hope you’ll support this suggestion.
Honorable Participants and Guests of the Congress!
An efficient model of peace and consent is the basic factor for successful development of our country.
Independent Kazakhstan is the country where 140 ethnic groups live in peace and consent.
We are among the three countries with the most dynamic economy in the first decade of the XXI century.
We have developed our own model of inter-ethnic consent.
A Kazakhstani of each ethnic group or religion is an equal citizen, an integral part of the common civil community.
And we create conditions for each person could freely manifest his/her religion, learn and use his/her own language, culture and traditions of his/her ethnos.
High values, professed by each religion – Islam, Orthodox, Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism, Buddhism and others have been always supported by Kazakhstani state.
That is why the process of spiritual renaissance is going for more than 20 years in our society.
New mosques and temples are being constructed.
We work over the project of the Inter-Confessional Consent Enhancement Program up to 2016.
Under the initiative of Kazakhstan 2010 was the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures, and 2013-2022 are declared by the UNESCO the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures.
In course of the Chairmanship of Kazakhstan in the OSCE in 2010 we suggested the partners to extend the number of dimensions of Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security, having included individually the issues of tolerance enhancement.
A number of our ideas on the development of inter-confessional dialogue, strengthening of trust between states were reflected in the Declaration of the Astana OSCE Summit.
During a year Kazakhstan headed the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which coincided with hard times for Ummah.
We suggested a number of initiatives, aimed at the development of cooperation between Muslim states within regulation of acute social-economic issues, humanitarian sphere.
Now ambiguous processes go on in the Muslim World.
There are dynamic economies and states with serious social-political problems.
Islam is a powerful and growing layer of cultural and material heritage of the humankind.
Modern and future global community is impossible to imagine without the world of Islam.
Any kinds of its obstruction are short-sighted and even dangerous.
We should carefully treat the events happening in this part of the big and diverse world.
Kazakhstan is the country where most people are Muslims.
Islamic religion is one of the spiritual supports of our people.
We have developed a unique formula of common national unity and consent of Kazakhstani people, independently of their religious and ethnic-cultural identity.
Congresses of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions are a noble gift of Kazakhstan to the whole world.
Next year it shall be the 10th anniversary of the First Congress calling.
On this occasion I would like to suggest next year to develop and adopt a special address of the Council of Religious Leaders, underlining there importance and topicality of dialogue, promotion of peacemaking role of religious-spiritual leaders.
Holding of the Congresses of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Astana proves that thesis about irreconcilable differences and contradictions between religions, is only a phantom.
These are people and states fight, but not religions.
Great minds of the world call religion a formula of morality.
The Great Abai have wise words: “The duty of a believer is to do good. But what does good worth that is done without faith?"
The highest sense of each creed is about bringing a person or humankind to the way of lost perfection.
This is the main objective of our High Forum.
I would like to wish all the Participant of the Congress fruitful and constructive discussion.
Let God help us within our good intentions!
Astana, Peace and Consent Palace, May 30th 2012