04 July 2006, 14:14
Alexy II is awarded the highest Muslim Order
Moscow, July 4, Interfax - Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia is awarded the highest Muslim Order of Sheikh ul-Islam for his contribution into development of mutual understanding among nations and religions.
On Tuesday, the head of the Muslim Board of the Caucasus Allahshukur Pasha-zade awarded the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church at the World Religious Summit current in Moscow. Patriarch Alexy is the first religious leader awarded with this Order. Earlier it was conferred upon Russian President Vladimir Putin and the former leader of Azerbaijan Geidar Aliyev.
Pasha-zade remarked that the award was conferred upon the Primate of the Russian church ‘for his great work aimed at peace and mutual understanding among nations, affirmation of solidarity as a norm of life, and the solution of international conflicts.’
‘How many human lives the efforts of His Holiness the Patriarch saved!’, the religious leader of the Muslims of the Caucasus said.
Alexy II noted that he accepted the award as recognition of the activities of the entire Russian Orthodox church. ‘Its hierarchs, clergy and laity have always sought cooperation with all people of good will and strengthened relations between the Orthodox and Muslim clergy.’
‘We have maintained special relations with you personally. They have been tested by time,’ the patriarch told Pasha-zade.
‘My duty and vocation is to serve to the strengthening of cooperation among nations and religions,’ the patriarch underscored.
The Order of Sheikh ul-Islam is made of precious metals and enamel and decorated with diamonds.
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