Today Minister of Religious Affairs and Civil Society of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nurlan Yermekbayev paid a working visit to Kyrgyzstan.

Nurlan Yermekbayev took part in an international conference on the topic “Islam in a modern secular state”, which takes place in Bishkek in the Ala-Archa state residence, the press service of the ministry reports.

The conference was opened with a welcoming speech by the President of the Kyrgyz Republic Almazbek Atambayev.

Nurlan Yermekbayev expressed gratitude to the President of the Kyrgyz Republic Almazbek Atambayev and the Government of Kyrgyzstan for organizing such a significant event.

In his speech, Minister of Religious Affairs and Civil Society Nurlan Yermekbayev raised the issue of the spread of ideas of destructive religious movements, at the same time defining the approaches to combating manifestations of radicalism.

“Even in the pre-Soviet period, our peoples have formed common religious traditions based on the principles of good, tolerance, respect for the position of people, regardless of their attitude to religion. In this regard, it is extremely important to preserve and adapt our spiritual heritage, and use it in modern conditions. Only a secular society can ensure the equality of religions in a multi-confessional environment,” – Nurlan Yermekbayev said.

N. Yermekbayev proposed to establish an International Advisory Board between the departments of Central Asian countries regulating religious activities in order to deepen international cooperation, share experience and take joint measures in the field of religious extremism prevention.

“All of us - state, scientific and religious figures need to unite efforts against religious extremism... Such a Board would allow developing an effective mechanism for interaction in a regional format. Unity in the adoption and implementation of decisions will be stronger than the actions of destructive forces,” – the Minister of Religious Affairs and Civil Society of the Republic of Kazakhstan said.

N. Yermekbayev also acquainted the conference participants with the measures being taken by the Government of Kazakhstan to create a Kazakhstan model of interaction between the state and religions. The steps taken by the state to ensure the rights of citizens to freedom of conscience, establishment of cooperation with all legally functioning religious associations were noted.

The Minister noted that Kazakhstan’s society is a unique example of inter-ethnic and inter-confessional consent. Based on this successful experience, President Nursultan Nazarbayev initiated the convening of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions.

The main topic of the conference was the discussion of the place and role of Islam in modern secular states. Participants drew attention to the need to preserve the cultural identity of national states, prevent the spread of alien religious values ​​and improve the effectiveness of democratic governance in the religious sphere.

The formal opening ceremony of the event was also addressed by the EU Special Representative for Central Asia Peter Burian, Minister of State for External Affairs of India Mobashar Akbar, State Councilor of the President of Uzbekistan Rustam Kamilov, Minister of Culture of Egypt Helmy Namnam, Chairman of the Committee on Religious Affairs of Tajikistan Sulaimon Davlatov and other high-ranking guests from Azerbaijan, Belgium, Russia, the United Nations, OSCE.

Recall, the conference is attended by heads of authorized bodies on religious affairs from 19 countries, representatives of relevant international organizations and well-known foreign Islamic experts.


Published: 28 September 2017



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