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Festival of Spiritual Music in Kondopoga, Russia

Kondopoga, Russia - A Festival of Spiritual Music took place on February 4 supported by the municipal government of Kondopoga and the Consultative Council of Relations with National and Religious Associations. It was also an event in honor of the Interfaith Harmony Week proclaimed by the UN General Assembly. This was the second Festival promoting interreligious initiatives in the Kondopoga district of the state of Karelia in northwest Russia.

Tatyana Krasnosumova, Ambassador for Peace, chair of UPF-Russia's Northwest Peace Council, opened the event with welcoming words. She talked about the role of the Universal Peace Federation in support of UN initiatives. She also expressed her confidence that the Festival of Spiritual Music would promote the idea of uniting people of different religions, help them to better understand each other and show that although people are different they all desire peace, goodness, mutual understanding and art can help promote that.

Choir singing is the art of brotherly communication, and the Festival could promote appreciation for the traditional spiritual values of each nation and harmonize them through the many voices of the performers.

During the Festival, musical compositions of Bach (organ), Arensky, Rachmaninov, Arkhangelsky, and Castalle were performed. Among the musicians there were representatives of the elder generation (folklore group “Vechorka”) and the youngest performers (children’s choir of the Palace of Arts in Kondopoga “Scarlet Sails”), a variety of spiritual songs from different cultures around the world, music of Russian composers, and folk musicians. Participants were from different religious groups: the clergy choir from the Holy Martyrs Faith, Hope, Love and their mother Sophia Temple; the choir of Evangelical and Lutheran parishes; and the Good News Evangelical Christian Church.

Each performance was followed by enthusiastic applause of the audience.

Although not all confessions introduced their representatives to take active part in the Festival, there were representatives in the audience who added their support to the event. At the end of the Festival, members of all musical groups received commemorative diplomas presented by representatives of Kondopoga and the regional administration followed by this verse:

Clergy of world religions
Adhere to their doctrines,
And of course all of them are orthodox
And convinced of their truth.
But by whatever names you call Him
The Lord is One for the whole planet,
For all multicolored confessions –
He is the One and the same Lord.

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