Russia TLIG Magazine

T R U E L I F E I N G O D 36 must be something wrong with the people He cre- ated if they cannot find a common language. And really when we talk about religion, love to your fel- low, opening your hearts to others, is really not only about having a dialogue but finding a solution. If you want to get to a solution, we will get to a solution. The best example and this will be my ending message, look how Jews and Muslims live not only in peace in this country, but really with love and understanding. I can give many examples how the Mufti’s children and grandchildren play with people in our community and how our children are connected to and have received help from different Muslim people. Really, what you see today in the Middle East and other parts of the world, in Russia it’s non-existent. There’s really a full understanding, a full cooperation. It’s a great example that could be brought to other places, and as I said in the beginning, it started off by suffering together but you don’t have to look for suffering to come together, you can come together in happiness, in joy, in celebration. Thank you again for coming tonight. Interfaith Panel Moscow Jewish Community Center Rev. Dimitry Safonov - Representing Metropolitan Hilarion Executive Secretary for Interreligious Council of Russia Department for External Church Relations The Russian Orthodox Church Thank you very much dear Rabbi Alon, it was a plea- sure to meet you in our department yesterday and I would like to greet everybody--colleagues, Rabbis, Eminences, brothers and sisters. I cordially greet all the participants in today’s meet- ing on behalf of the chairman of the Moscow Patri- archate’s Department for External Church Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk. As Rabbi Alon said, he is now in Greece. The Elijah Interfaith Institute, and Metropolitan Hi- larion is a member of the board of your institute, has proved to be an important platform for conducting dialogue between religious leaders, scholars and ex- perts. In its work, the institute gives special attention to the development of academic studies and various issues of the ethics, theology and social life as mat- ters of concern for the faithful of various religions. I hope that the interfaith cooperation maintained by the institute, including in the academic sphere, will continue and will bring forth good fruits. And from my side, I would like to say a few words about our experience in the Russian Orthodox Church in the interfaith dialogue. Russia has an age old expe- rience of peaceful coexistence and constructive coop- eration between people of various ethnic background, cultures and religions. Religious leaders in the USSR began peacemaking cooperation soon after the great Second World War when the authorities weakened their persecution of religious communities. The dialogue of the Russian Orthodox Church with other religions in Russia is conducted and continue on the basis of The Interreligious Council of Russia. I am the Executive Secretary of The Interreligious Council of Russia. It was established in 1998. Venerable Rabbi Lazar is a member of our presidium of our Interreligious Council of Russia. His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, is an Honorary Chairman of this Council. The primary tasks of this Council are peacemaking, assertion of moral values in society as well as practical work to improve the situation of religious communities in the legislative, economic and social spheres. Our Church sees in the traditional religious communi- ties in Russia a reliable alliance and a good task of de- fending morality and traditional family and strength- ening peace and accord. As practice has shown, the closeness of the moral values makes it possible for the traditional religions in Russia to engage in construc- tive cooperation and to come out as a united front

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