Interfaith Peacebuilding


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Interfaith Programs

Towards a Youth of Russia Interreligious Council

Dombai, Russia - The first Caucasus Forum for the Youth of Russia took place July 23-31 in Dombai in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic of the Russian Federation. The theme was “Peace in the Caucasus is the mission of youth.” The forum was initiated by the Congress of the Caucasian Peoples of Russia with the support of the North Caucasus Federal District authorities and the Ministry of Sports, Tourism and Youth Policy of the Russian Federation. A number of NGOs were present at the forum, including the Universal Peace Federation.

The young elite, concerned about tensions in the North Caucasus, developed a number of ideas and offered them to the representatives of the North Caucasus Federal District mission. Since the religious factor is often essential in negotiations among Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and nations of the Middle East and Central Asia, it is crucial that no outside political ambition be allowed to exploit the religious factor for its own ends. Thus, forum participants proposed creating a Youth of Russia Interreligious Council with authority to make recommendations to branches of government and establish contacts with representatives of religious organizations in different countries, in order to strengthen inter-state relations.

The idea of a Youth of Russia Interreligious Council is closely related to Dr. Sun Myung Moon’s proposal for an interreligious council at the United Nations announced on August 18, 2000. This idea of creating a prototype of a future council at the United Nations was generally approved as timely and relevant for multi-confessional Russia, where intercultural dialogue is often a challenge. Although an Interreligious Council of Russia already exists, it is not representative of young people, among whom the level of xenophobia is very high. Therefore, religious youth announced their desire to take a stand against injustice and evil and reach out to others with a heart of love.

More information [in Russian] is available at: The Karachay-Cherkess Republic is one of several autonomous Russian republics along the northern border of Georgia. Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan have been the focus of UPF-Eurasia's South Caucasus Peace Initiative.

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