ASTANA – Religious leaders called on Thursday for an end to “all forms of manipulation of religions” that lead to the activity of terrorist organizations in a joint statement signed at the end of the 6th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions.
“We reject all forms of manipulation of religion,” the document says, while condemning “the massive and systematic abuse of human rights by international terrorist organizations.”
According to participants at the triennial congress held at the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation in Astana, terrorist acts “undermine mutual trust and cooperation among followers of different religions and among followers of the same faith.”
The leaders also agreed to create the Nazarbayev Center as an initiative that fosters dialogue between different faiths, while also recognizing the fundamental role of the congress “to promote interreligious dialogue.”
Kazakh Senate President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev also took part in the closing ceremony.
In the document, participants emphasized the importance of cooperation to resolve religious conflicts.
The 6th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions brought together 82 delegations from 46 countries, including political leaders such as Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Secretary-General Thomas Greminger.
Representatives of Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism and Shintoism also attended the event at Astana’s Palace of Peace and Reconciliation.