Message of His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill. Read out by: Metropolitan Leo
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I cordially greet all of you as you have gathered together today in the Azerbaijani capital city of Baku.
This conference marks the completion of a sequence of events held by the Caucasus Islamic Board in the Year of Religious Solidarity. I would like to point out the special important that this project has had for the development of intercultural dialogue and cooperation and to express hope that the example of this initiative will inspire not-indifferent people in other countries.
The modern society has encountered many serious world outlooks and challenges as the norms of traditional morality has been subjected to corrosion; religion has been forced out to the margins of public life; and pseudo-religious ideas of extremism and intolerance have been propagated. It is my conviction that the leaders of the world religions are called to give an appropriate and convincing response to these challenges, showing an example of mutually respectful cooperation and joint efforts in searching for mechanisms of defending faith and morality.
It is gratifying to note that for the last years Azerbaijan has firmly secured for itself the status of a major center of interreligious and intercultural dialogue in the Caucasus. A great credit for this belongs to the state leaders of this country. I would like to express special gratitude to the head of the Caucasus Muslim Board Sheikh-ul-Islam Allakhshuqur Pashazade for his benevolent and trusting long-standing cooperation.
I hope that the work of this forum will contribute to the assertion of traditional spiritual and moral values in the life of our peoples and to the consolidation of interreligious peace and accord in the region.
I wish the participants in the conference the fullness of spiritual and physical strength, fruitful discussions and blessed successes in their good initiatives.
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia