09/13/2006, 00.00
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Astana: inter-faith roadmap to stop fundamentalism

by Joseph Masilamany

The last day of discussion of the second Congress of Leaders of World Religions is unfolding in the Kazak capital. The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew urged one and all to teach respect and reconciliation in all places of worship.

Astana (AsiaNews) – A roadmap by leaders of major world religions to promote international security and to stop fundamentalism and consequent inter-faith violence. 

This is the objective fixed for the last day of deliberations of the second Congress of Leaders of World Religions, which aims to promote harmony and inter-faith dialogue.

The Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I said during his intervention that "religious warfare brings out the worst in people".

He continued: "Religious fanaticism is one of the thorniest aspects of the problem and this is where our efforts should focus if we want the world to change."

The patriarch called on 43 delegates present – representing Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Shinto, Taoism and Hinduism – to "teach respect and reconciliation in every synagogue, in every mosque, in every church and in all temples of the world."

The religious representatives also underlined the role played by education of youth, the basis of tolerance and a long-term contribution to global security. Koichiro Matsuura, director general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, lauded Kazakhstan – the host nation – for being a "model for peaceful coexistence".

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