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Statement of Advisor to the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, President of the Culture and Islamic Relations Organization, Mehdi Mustafavi Print E-mail
In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful!

Your Excellency, President Nazarbayev, Your Excellency Mr. Kassymzhomart Tokaev, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen, I greet you! Peace and blessing of Allah be upon you!

Let me begin my speech by expressing my deep appreciation to the initiative of His Excellency, President Nazarbayev, and gratitude to other governmental leaders the Republic of Kazakhstan for hosting the III Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. I would like also to thank the distinguished delegates who have come to participate in this forum from various parts of the world, for their efforts in establishing and developing world, where people can coexist peacefully. I beseech the Almighty God to grant them success.

There is beyond any doubt that the faithful men and women play very important role in establishing and promoting peace, the protection of human dignity is something that has been always valued by the great teachers and religious leaders, who was able to change the world significantly owing to their spiritual influence.

The leaders of world religions can be of great benefit, inspiring their followers and helping them to choose the right way which will contribute to eradication of cruelty, on the one hand, and development of peace, harmony and concord, on the other.
In the modern world there are such negative phenomena as poverty, oppression, cruelty and intolerance of people to their “neighbors”, as well as to the nature and the environment. All this is happening either due to ignorance and prejudice, or lack of ethical values and principles. Therefore, prominent religious leaders should unite their efforts to confront these phenomena, promoting elimination of unworthy relations to save mankind from such problems as violence and oppression, and to lead it to peace and concord.

In the modern world mankind must take the way of dialogue and cooperation, and the role of religious leaders is to facilitate this cooperation and dialogue which are of critical importance today.

Although people of different faiths follow different religions and spiritual principles, religious leaders can make a huge contribution to bringing people together, focusing on existing unity of all religions, and not stay indifferent to prevailing disagreements and controversies on religious grounds.

Such moral values like compassion, honesty, forgiveness, justice, piety and rejection of all forms of violence, discrimination are such studies and values that no one religion can consider as exclusively its own. These studies stem from human nature itself and are common to the whole mankind, and monopolistic tendencies have become the biggest obstacle to achieving our goals. Monopolistic tendencies are leading the world and mankind just to cruel confrontation and conflicts. The duty of religious leaders is to awaken human consciousness and turn the attention of their followers to development of moral values, so that all people could live in peace and concord in the world free from violence and intolerance.

The most important mission of religious leaders is development of religious education and strengthening of moral values. Not forgetting their role, they should encourage people to fight against oppression and injustice that occur throughout the world. Religious leaders can share responsibility, offering constructive solutions to the problems and challenges that hinder establishment of peace and peaceful coexistence throughout the world.

Upon emerging global problems, as well as conflicts and hostility between nations, sometimes degenerating into religious conflicts in the interests of large monopolies in some countries and politicians, religious leaders realized the need for interreligious dialogue to determine the values and principles that are common to all religions. On this way they have taken commendable actions that can be considered as a victory over the challenges faced by humanity.

Religious leaders should focus on the need to respect people's religious values and principles both in  private life and in public and international affairs, and strive to reduce negative impact of political opposition on establishment of peaceful coexistence between followers of different religions.

In my opinion, although politics have some influence on the modern world performing their public duties and responsibilities in view of their political, financial and military powers, but also because religious people believe and trust them, to this day religious leaders definitely play a big role in this.

If religious leaders push themselves to the forefront and explain to their followers share the common values for all religions, they can achieve greater success in persuading people and directing them towards mutual understanding, mutual respect and peaceful coexistence with followers of other religions.

Thus, understanding the importance of their social role, directing to the right way different population strata, as well as using their political responsibility, religious leaders can bring together the followers of different religions and forward their political activism in a constructive direction.

By establishing sincere relationships with representatives of various strata, religious leaders can monitor and control the religious and political prejudices and bigotry, as well as prevent achieving selfish goals antireligious politics. This gives the opportunity for religious leaders to control irresponsible politicians and, thus, pave the way for approval of social laws and regulations, which would be based on natural and human qualities and would be inspired by religious and moral values.

Religious leaders, clearly understanding the political and historical concerns of their followers can take a fair and impartial position and offer real solutions to problems and concerns of his followers.

Religious leaders as never before should demand from governments and states to meet the needs of their people and stop preying on the factors contributing to confrontation among nations.

History of the Islamic Republic of Iran is an outstanding example of peaceful coexistence and mutual respect between different religious communities: Muslims, Christians, Jews and representatives of Zoroastrianism. I declare with pride that as a result of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, thanks to the procedure established by the late Imam Khomeini, peace be upon him, and Grand Ayatollah Khamenei, based on the noble studies of the Holy Quran and the great Muslim Prophet (Allah welcomes His), religious minorities live in Iran in peace and concord with its Muslim citizens and play an active role in political and economic life of our society.

I would like to conclude my address by praying for reconciliation, sustainable peace and mutual respect, free from all discrimination, and I hope that we will witness existence of the world in which productive and relentless efforts of the world's religious leaders, well aware of existing cultural, social, political and religious differences, will lead to mutual respect between all people and peaceful coexistence between followers of all religions.

Thank you.
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