On March 22, the Bolgar Islamic Academy hosted a meeting with Hieromonk Grigory Matrusov, Chairman of the Expert Council under the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia for Interaction with the Islamic World. The delegation also included the first vice-rector of Kazan Orthodox Theological Seminary, priest Nikita Kuznetsov, vice-rector for Theological Science, archpriest Sergiy Shkuro, head of the department of Islamic Studies Vladimir Rogatin, as well as seminary professors.

The guests of honor were welcomed by Academy Rector Farkhat Khusnutdinov. He noted that representatives of different nationalities and religions have peacefully coexisted on the territory of the ancient city of Bolgar for many centuries. Today, these good traditions of international and interreligious peace continue to be cherished and strengthened.

In the Republic of Tatarstan the activity of Muslim and Orthodox organizations is supported, the shrines of the two leading confessions are revived. We highly appreciate the trusting relations established between Muslim and Orthodox educational organizations,” said Farkhat Khusnutdinov.

According to the rector of the Bolgar Academy today in the context of an unprecedentedly difficult political situation in the world interfaith peace and harmony are more relevant than ever.

“The mutual desire for mutual understanding is the key to successful cooperation between our Bolgar Academy and the Theological Seminary. For many years now we have been implementing various projects together, including round tables and conferences, and we regularly visit each other to share experiences,” the Academy rector added.

Hieromonk Gregory, Chairman of the Expert Council under the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia for Interaction with the Islamic World, shared his impressions of the visit to the Academy complex.

“The idea of creating a center for Islamic education on such a scale was not only timely, but also realized in a short time. I am sure that the Academy has all the necessary conditions to become a center not only of Russian, but also of world education. There is a wonderful library, the latest technology is used in the learning process and there is a unique faculty. It is also an excellent platform for our cooperation. We hope that our cooperation will only grow stronger and will benefit not only our congregations but also the State as a whole,” said Father Gregory.

As part of his visit, Father Gregory had a tour of the Academy complex. He also deliver a lecture to students and faculty on “Conceptual Foundations of Interaction between Islam and Christianity. In the course of his lecture, the speaker opened up questions related to the social and scientific-pedagogical interaction between Islam and Christianity, and also emphasized the perspective of “cross” teaching in spiritual educational institutions to strengthen inter-religious dialogue.