New Ideas for Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions

The Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, under the guidance of the President of Kazakhstan, has played a pivotal role in fostering mutual recognition among religious leaders and facilitating their constructive cooperation in addressing social, cultural, and religious issues. The initial years of the congress were focused on understanding and acknowledging the leaders and the potential of each religion. The most significant achievement of this congress has been the establishment of trust among religious leaders, which is crucial for effective collaboration.

Kazakhstan’s Senate Chairman Maulen Ashimbayev (L) and Dr. Ali Akbar Ziaei.

Another key accomplishment of the congress is the identification of latent potentials within each of the world’s religions. By creating a friendly and intimate environment, the congress has provided an ideal platform for religious leaders to exchange views and ideas. This dialogue is a fundamental component for recognizing the positive and constructive capacities inherent in every religion and ritual.

In the current century, we are increasingly confronted with global crises involving world religions and their followers. Incidents like the attacks and insults directed at the Holy Quran, the Israeli army’s assaults on the innocent and defenseless people of Palestine, and attacks on churches in Palestine, all heighten the responsibility of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions.

At the 21st meeting of the Congress Secretariat, participants highlighted the escalating conditions of geopolitical tension, the deterioration of the global order, and the intensifying global conflicts. They agreed that practical measures are necessary to address these issues.

To this end, the formation of active working groups within the congress has been proposed for strategic planning in the following areas:

– Working Group on Artificial Intelligence.

– Working Group on Neurobiological Sciences.

– Working Group on Spiritualism.

– Working Group for the Protection of Family Values.

– Economic Working Group to Support Followers of World and Traditional Religions.

– Working Group to Address Crises and Wars Among Followers of World and Traditional Religions.

– Working Group on Children, Adolescents, and Women.

The congress programs should place greater emphasis on international cooperation to resolve global challenges within the context of religions. Merely holding a congress for the sake of official and diplomatic speeches or to express the political stances of each country is not seen as particularly beneficial. Instead, the significant capabilities of religious leaders should be more directed towards addressing social, cultural, and religious issues, as well as resolving military crises and regional and international conflicts.

The proposed working groups are envisioned to conduct their activities across various countries, operating under the supervision of the Kazakh government. They will be responsible for annually reporting their progress and activities to the Congress. The establishment of these groups aims to actualize the vision of the President of Kazakhstan, emphasizing the necessity of creating a new global peace movement. This initiative seeks to develop a robust international security system and address pressing challenges.

With a rich background spanning 30 years of scientific and practical experience in facilitating religious and cultural dialogues, the Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue is well-equipped and prepared to provide support and collaboration towards the significant objectives of this congress.

The author is Dr. Ali Akbar Ziaei, the head of the Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue in Iran. 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of The Astana Times. 

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