the International Conference
“Islam and Orthodoxy - Religions of Peace”
November 21, 2019, Bishkek
Islam and Orthodox Christianity, as world monotheistic religions, have become part of the culture of many peoples of the world. For many centuries, these two religions played an important role and contributed to the formation and development of eastern and western civilizations. Islam and Orthodoxy, having many common traditions, spiritual and cultural values, preach good and mercy, humanity and equality, and call for peace and harmony both within society and around the world.
More than a thousand years of active interaction between Islam and Orthodoxy, as well as nomadic and sedentary peoples in the territory of the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, created the conditions for the development of a common civilizational space – “Eurasia”, which is significantly different from Europe and Asia, but at the same time has gathered common spiritual, cultural, social and political characteristics of the peoples inhabiting the territory. The Eurasian space, having a common history, has become a place for the development of interaction and joint coexistence, experience of the united state, and today it is the territory of integration of fraternal countries and peoples. The history, when the peoples of the USSR all together confronted common enemies in the form of fascism, as well as other threats to peace and international security, such as racism and xenophobia, is not far off.
Unfortunately, today in the post-Soviet space and around the world, there are trends in the use of religion by various destructive forces, radical groups, as well as some politicians in their activities and confrontation processes both within states and in the international arena. Those attempts are often crowned with success, give rise to inter-confessional tension and confrontation. Such processes as the politicization and radicalization of religion negatively affect the social and political situation and push people and nations begeting instability and conflicts.
In this regard, it is necessary to re-identify and promote the positive role of Islam and Orthodoxy in establishing peace and harmony, developing interfaith dialogue, mutual respect, tolerance and joint peaceful coexistence.
The II International Conference “Islam in a Modern Secular State” was held in Bishkek on November 15-16, 2018, which was aimed at discussing the development and interaction of Islam within the framework of the modern secular state. The conference also touched upon basic spiritual values of Islam, which provide for the importance of ensuring equality, justice and tolerant attitude toward the representatives of other religions. In his welcoming speech to the participants of the Conference, President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sooronbai Jeenbekov noted that Kyrgyzstan is a multi-confessional country and it is necessary to strengthen inter-religious harmony, mutual understanding and respect between believers and those citizens who consider themselves to be outside religion.
In this regard, the international conference “Islam and Orthodoxy – Religions of Peace” is an important continuation of previous conferences and provides a platform for the development of interfaith dialogue and cooperation of Islam with other religions within the framework of the modern secular state, where discussion of the experience of interaction between Islam and Orthodoxy as the most of numerous religions in the territory of the CIS countries is becoming a relevant course and the first step in this process.
Thus, the analysis and discussion of those issues within the framework of the international conference will create conditions for the development of spiritual and international interaction, interfaith cooperation, exchange of experience and improvement of state policy in the religious sphere of the participating countries.
The purpose and objectives of the conference
The purpose of the conference is to analyze historical processes and the current situation in the interaction between Islam and Orthodox Christianity in the post-Soviet space, as well as to discuss common spiritual and cultural values of the two religions, their place and role in building peace and harmony, and the development of integration processes in the Eurasian area.
This conference plans to discuss issues through the following topics (sections):
- “Islam and Orthodoxy: interfaith dialogue as the basis of public peace and harmony”
- “Values of Islam and Orthodoxy in modern society and state”
- “Islam and Orthodoxy in the context of historical development and contemporary threats and challenges”
The Conference will be attended by the representatives of state bodies and the expert community working in the field of religion, international cooperation and countering extremism, as well as religious organizations from Russia, Kyrgyzstan and other Central Asian countries.
Following up to the outcome of the conference, it is expected
- to strengthen cooperation and interaction between government bodies, representatives of religious organizations and civil society of Russia, Kyrgyzstan and other Central Asian countries,
- to boost the development of interfaith dialogue and the strengthening of joint measures to promote peace and harmony, to prevent and combat discrimination and radicalization on religious ground,
- to strengthen the principle of secularism, to protect human rights and freedoms.
This international platform will become a favorable basis for the establishment and development of international and interfaith relations in the framework of future cooperation.
The interaction between Islam and Orthodoxy in our region with a history of about two centuries is bearing fruit today. Close cooperation not only in the field of religion, but also in the field of culture, mutual study of languages, traditions, science and education has become the basis of today’s bilateral relations and harmony.