On 25 September, a cooperation agreement between the Bolgar Islamic Academy and the Volga Region academy of education and arts named after Saint Alexis, Metropolitan of Moscow was signed in the government of the Samara Region.

The signing took place in the presence of the Plenipotentiary representative of the president of the Russian Federation in the Volga federal district Igor Komarov, governor of the samara region Dmitry Azarov, member of the federation council of the Russian Federation, deputy chairman of the strategic vision group “Russia – Islamic World” Farit Mukhametshin, metropolitan of Samara and Novokuibyshevsky Sergiy, mufti of the Samara Region Talip khazrat Yarullin.

The plenipotentiary representative of the president of the Russian Federation in the Volga federal district highly appreciated the prospects of cooperation between the two educational organizations.

“The interaction between the Bolgar Islamic Academy and the Orthodox academy of Tolyatti is very important – not only in terms of training and organization of their work. What is important is the approach itself, the interaction between the educational institutions of our two main religions. This initiative of institutions, in my opinion, has a good prospect, which, of course, we will support”emphasized Igor Komarov.

Governor Dmitry Azarov, thanked Igor Komarov, Rustam Minnikhanov, Rais (Head) of the Republic of Tatarstan, and representatives of religious confessions for supporting the initiative to conclude the agreement. According to him, today representatives of traditional confessions are reaching a whole new level of interaction, which is proof of careful attitude to traditional religions.

According to Farkhat Khusnutdinov, the upcoming co-operation in the educational sphere will promote interaction in the field of preserving traditional spiritual and moral values, integrating the systems of Islamic and Orthodox religious education, as well as help preserve and multiply Russia’s rich cultural heritage.

“Such cooperation is aimed at preserving our Russia,” he said. “I am very pleased that this signing has been given such a high status. We will work closely with academies and support each other’s initiatives. We will work actively,” said the rector of the Bolgar Academy.

The rector of the Volga Region Academy emphasized that Orthodoxy and Islam carry the centuries-old experience of the peoples inhabiting the country.

“The way in which educational, upbringing, cultural and enlightenment processes are built in the Islamic academy is very consonant with us. I am sure there is a great future for this co-operation,” Archpriest Dmitry Leskin emphasised.

He also mentioned that already in October the professors of the Orthodox academy will take part in a theological conference at Bolgar academy. A return visit by teaching staff and students of the Bolgar academy to the Orthodox academy in Tolyatti is also planned.