Moscow, April 10, Interfax - Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said he believes Russian society is largely more tolerant than Western society, but it is necessary to continue improvements and strengthen unity between different ethnicities and religious denominations.
"There is no limit to perfection, and therefore it is probably wrong to say that we have reached this optimal state because one should always aspire to become more tolerant, it's not a rigid matter," Volodin told reporters, responding to a question about how tolerant he considers Russian society to be in comparison with Western society.
"We should improve in this regard, definitely," he said while visiting the Jewish Museum and the Tolerance Center in Moscow together with his deputy Pyotr Tolstoy.
As to the other countries, everything is learned through comparison, he said. "Today we see that we have objectively fewer such problems than they have," he said
Russia's Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar, who conducted the excursion for Volodin along with Alexander Boroda, president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FJCR), called Russia "unique" from the point of view of relations between religions. "There is almost no [place] in the world where religious leaders live so peacefully and are so united," the spiritual leader said.
Speaking about the significance of tolerance in general, Volodin said this quality has always been important. "If you look at the museum displays, you will see that conflicts occurred in society when it violated basic principles of tolerance, the relations between various ethnicities and religions," he said.
"There are things to look at" in the Tolerance Center, "things to learn and draw conclusions to prevent some things from occurring again in our history," he said. "And we, especially in this year, the year of the anniversary of [the] 1917 [revolution], should again re-think this to prevent such things from occurring again," he said.
The Tolerance Center is already preparing programs for teachers in the sphere of teaching tolerance under an agreement with the Education Ministry "because this experience is interesting to everyone."