Speaker of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan Maulen Ashimbayev met with Pope Francis during his working visit to the Vatican.
Maulen Ashimbayev, on behalf of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, presented the Pontiff with an invitation to take part in the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions.
During the talks, the Senate Speaker told about the initiatives of Kazakhstan in the field of interfaith harmony and the promotion of global interreligious dialogue, which also closely correlate with the activities of the Vatican.
“Interethnic peace and reconciliation, mutual respect for the religious views of all citizens are an integral part of the Kazakh culture and mentality. We do everything necessary to preserve and promote this culture of tolerance. This is why our First President Nursultan Nazarbayev initiated the convocation of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in 2003. A considerable contribution to the promotion of this platform was made by President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev as the head of the Secretariat of the Congress,” Maulen Ashimbayev noted.
He extended his gratitude to the Vatican for its support of this initiative of our country.
“Over 18 years, the Kazakhstan inter-religious forum has evolved into a broadly representative platform for dialogue. Let me take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the Holy See for its support of Kazakhstan’s initiative. Senior representatives of the Catholic Church took an active part in all six Congresses of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions,” the Speaker of the Senate underlined.
At the coming Congress, it is planned to discuss the role of leaders of the world and traditional religions in the social and spiritual development of humanity in the post-pandemic period. The parties expressed confidence that religious figures could significantly contribute to the combat against the pandemic and its socio-economic and humanitarian costs.
“Religious leaders can greatly contribute to both understanding the lessons of the pandemic and addressing its consequences. The pandemic has aggravated many of the chronic problems of humanity, such as poverty, inequality, the deplorable state of health care in most countries, the poor level of education of people, environmental and other problems. It is also obvious that in the post-pandemic period, consumer priorities should be reconsidered and spiritual and moral values should come to the fore,” Maulen Ashimbayev said.
Pope Francis thanked President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev for the invitation to Kazakhstan to the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions scheduled for September next year. The Pontiff underlined the importance of this initiative of First President - Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev, having noted the meaningful role of Kazakhstan in the promotion of global inter-religious dialogue.
The interlocutors also spoke about major issues on the international agenda, notably the situation in Afghanistan, global climate change, and others.
Later that day, Maulen Ashimbayev met with Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, where the parties discussed cooperation between Kazakhstan and the Vatican.
Also, there was a meeting with President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Cardinal Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot.
(Press Office of the Senate, 74-72-27. Photo by @VaticanMedia)