The Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Kazakhstan, the largest international event since the pandemic began on 14 September in Kazakh capital. Aida Haidar writes in Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions International.
The congress will feature more than 100 representatives from over 50 countries. It will be centered on the role religious leaders play in social and spiritual development after the pandemic.
The plenary session was opened by the one-minute prayer.
The President of Kazakhstan Kassym Jomart Tokayev welcomed the participants to the congress and said that the congress was a platform for inter-civilizational dialog at the global level.
He noted that “the Kazakh land has been a bridge between East and West,”
The President stated that congress’ historical significance is increasing. He stated that today’s world requires an open dialogue more than ever.
“Unfortunately, distrust and tension have returned to international relations. These problems can be solved by goodwill, cooperation, dialogue, and collaboration. He stated that Kazakhstan has advocated the settlement of disputes at the negotiating tables.
Pope Francis quoted Abai Kunanbayev, a Kazakh poet and thinker, as part of his welcome address to the congress. He said, “The foundation of peace is love & justice.”
The Pontiff exhorted participants to remember the mistakes and horrors of the past. According to the Pope, poverty is today’s greatest threat because it breeds violence, greed, and insecurity.
“Our times are marked by the plague, inability to reach another. We must be sensitive to those who are most at risk, and those in greatest need. “The pandemic has shown all the inequalities of our planet,” said the Pope.
For the next two days, the congress will continue its work. Pope Francis will lead an open-air holy Mass for Roman Catholics as well as representatives from other religions and confessions in the afternoon.
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