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BSNRU Hosts a Conference on Religious Issues

The Faculty of Theology and Social Sciences hosted the first Pan-National Practical Conference on 'The Contemporary Challenges Facing the Traditional Religions of Russia'.

The conference was attended by Metropolitan Ioann of Belgorod and Stary Oskol, Svetlana Ostrikova, Vice-Rector for Cultural and Educational Activity at BSNRU, Renat Islyamov, Representative of the Mufti of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of the Russian Federation in the Central Federal District, Nail Shakirov, Representative of the Directorate of Muslim Spiritual Affairs of the Russian Federation, and Ahmed Kakhaev, First Deputy Mufti of the Directorate of Muslim Spiritual Affairs for the Republic of Dagestan. Also present were Arch Priest Dr Lev Semenov, Head of the Spiritual and Educational Centre at the St Tikhon Orthodox Humanitarian University, Acting Member of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society, Deputy Chairman of the Council of the Assembly of the Peoples of Russia, Member of the Commission for the Harmonisation of Inter-Ethnic and Inter-Religious Relations of the Presidential Council for Interaction with Religious Associations, and Hajiramamazan Ramazanov, Chairman of the 'Peace and Creation' Council of the Community of Local Religious Organisations of Muslims in Belgorod, alongside other representatives of other Muslim associations from all the districts of Belgorod Region. Other guests were present along with representatives from the University.

Metropolitan Ioann warmly welcomed the guests to the conference and was followed by Mr Islyamov, who passed on greetings from Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin, Chairman of the Directorate of Muslim Spiritual Affairs and the Russian Council of Muftis. Dr Ostrikova addressed the conference, saying that our students come from more than 90 countries and represent many different nationalities, cultures and religions. Much attention is paid to spiritual and moral issues, and inter-faith dialogue is encouraged in the university.

In their speeches, participants noted the special role dialogue between Orthodox Christians and Muslims plays in Russia, which has a long tradition of understanding, based on a mutual desire for such dialogue. The discussion touched upon the issues of current spiritual and moral upbringing which, as contributors were keen to emphasise, is one of the main factors in counteracting extremism and preventing the manifestation of radical attitudes among the young. Conference participants agreed that special attention should be given to religious education and upbringing, the development of a multi-faith culture, inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue, and the protection of citizens religions and traditions.

 Dr Tamara Lipich, Head of the Department of Philosophy and Theology. (Photo by Viktoria Kolosova)


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