19 April 2006, 17:53
Russia to host world religions summit in July - patriarch
Novo-Ogaryovo, April 19, Interfax - The world summit of religious leaders will take place July 3-4 in Russia, Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and all Russia told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.
Six catholic cardinals, the Archbishop of Canterbury, a number of Muslim religious leaders and the chief rabbi of Israel have agreed to attend, Alexy II told the president.
"This will be a truly inter-confessional and inter-religious summit," the patriarch said.
Putin related that during his latest visit to Azerbaijan, the Muslim leader of that country confirmed he would attend the summit.
As Russia presides over the Group of Eight, the religious leaders believe it necessary to remind the public that they speak for cooperation and against pseudo-religious ideas that divide people, against terrorism and violence, and for strengthening the moral base of life and strengthening the family, Alexy II said.
"I think that it would be useful to attract G8 attention to the common opinion of religious leaders on these questions," the patriarch said.
Moreover, he told the president about the recent World Russian People's Assembly in Moscow.
Participants of the assembly "did not spoke against anybody, but they said that they are for freedom and human rights," the patriarch said. "One should remember and know that there are moral landmarks that everyone must observe. Freedom must not be confused with permissiveness," Alexy II said.