On 20 May, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia visited Bolgar Islamic Academy, where he met with state and public figures from Russia and Muslim countries. Ruslan Sayakhov, Interim vice-rector for scientific activities, received the distinguished guest on behalf of the Academy. The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia got acquainted with the scientific and educational activities of Bolgar Academy, visited the exhibition hall and the laboratory for restoration and digitization of ancient manuscripts.

The meeting was attended by president of the global council for tolerance and peace Ahmed bin Mohammad Al Jarwan, director of the Egyptian council for international affairs Izzat Saad, secretary general of the World organization for the rapprochement of Madhhabs Hamid Hawali Shahriyari, chairman of the Global centre for moderate Islam Din Shamsuddin, chairman of the Committee on religious affairs, ordering of traditions and rituals under the government of the Republic of Tajikistan Davlatzoda Sulaimon Pirhon, Davlatzoda Sulaimon Pirhon, chairman of the Committee on Religious Affairs, Ordering of Traditions, Celebrations and Rites under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, Talgat Khazrat Tadzhuddin, Supreme Mufti, chairman of the Central spiritual board of Muslims of Russia, Anatoly Vylegzhanin, deputy head of the presidential department for domestic policy, Ruslan Mukharlyamov, deputy head of the administration of the president of the Russian Federation, and others.   

The meeting was moderated by Farid Mukhametshin, a member of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and Deputy Chairman of the Russia-Islamic World Strategic Vision Group.

Addressing the participants of the meeting, the Patriarch noted that in the entire history of relations between the Russian state and Islamic countries there has never been a negative relationship.

Addressing the participants of the meeting, the Patriarch noted that in the entire history of relations between the Russian state and Islamic countries there had never been negative relations.

 “During the Cold War period and even in general, contacts with the Muslim world gave a certain inspiration that there are believing people with whom we have much in common, with whom a comprehensive dialogue has been established,” the patriarch noted.

He added that now the confrontation between the East and the West is increasing, and the world community is facing new serious geopolitical and economic problems. In addition, this confrontation involves not only the people and the government, but also religious leaders.

“We lack the consensus to jointly influence the flock and lead towards peace and universal well-being. We are doubly responsible and accountable not only for our communities but for the world. In the face of propaganda of sin and intolerance, only religious leaders retain the potential for reconciliation and the ability to influence the whole world through their flock. We must remind that God is not in power, but in truth, and favours people when they keep in their hearts reverence for Him,” Patriarch Kirill assured.

The speaker spoke separately about the special significance of Russia’s co-operation with the Islamic world. After all, Russia and Muslim countries profess close spiritual and moral values, not sharing the norms of social behavior and morality imposed by the West, which go against the foundations of national existence and contradict spiritual and moral traditions and customs.

“It is symbolic that this conversation is taking place in the leading center of Muslim education in Russia. It has excellent conditions, authoritative teachers, quality equipment, and the Centre for Interreligious Dialogue. It is gratifying that the Orthodox take an active part in the events. This reflects the true spirit of interreligious interaction and allows to educate young people in deep respect for representatives of other religions”, – summarized Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

In turn, Hamid Hawali Shahriyari, Secretary General of the World Organization for the Convergence of Madhhabs, reminded that the Islamic doctrine is based on kindness, which is characteristic of all Abrahamic religions.

According to the Chairman of the Global Center for moderate Islam, the dialogue is only at the initial stage, but it already allows solving the problems of humanity.

At the end of the event, the participants of the meeting exchanged memorable gifts. Thus, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia presented the Bolgar Islamic Academy with a painting with a view of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, where he began his path of spiritual guidance.