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Tatarstan Exhibition Points the Way "Through Faith to Peace" 




Kazan, Russia – The unique and colorful Ecumenical Temple in the city of Kazan was the site of a two-day exhibition, “Through Faith to Peace,” held February 3-4, 2024. The event was organized by UPF-Tatarstan to mark the United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week, designated as the first week of February. The exhibition highlighted UPF’s interfaith activities.

The opening ceremony was hosted by Mrs. Anastasia Ogorodova, UPF representative in the Republic of Tatarstan. She spoke about the importance of interreligious activities in fostering peace and harmony. Mr. Aidar Galeev, envoy of the Mufti of Sri Lanka in Kazan and director of the Sri Lanka representative office, also gave welcoming remarks. Mr. Konstantin Krylov, secretary general of UPF-Eurasia, gave a presentation on the organization's latest projects.


Well-known academic figures of Tatarstan, Dr. Engel Tagirov and Dr. Anatoly Pogasy, also addressed the gathering. Dr. Tagirov is rector of the Institute for the Culture of Peace (UNESCO) and president of the International Humanitarian Academy Europe-Asia; Dr. Pogasy is a professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the Institute of Social and Philosophical Sciences and Mass Communications. They shared their thoughts on the future of interreligious dialogue, its difficulties and their experiences in this area.


The Ecumenical Temple, also known as the International Cultural Center for Spiritual Unity, was conceived and built in the 1990s by architect and UPF Ambassador for Peace Mr. Ildar Khanov, and funded largely by his family. The architect’s brother, Mr. Ilgiz Khanov, and his sister, Ms. Flyura Galeeva, both spoke at the opening of the exhibition, sharing their experience of interreligious spirituality and the construction of the unique facility, which has features of an Orthodox and a Catholic church, a mosque, a Chinese pagoda, a Buddhist temple, and a Jewish synagogue.


Mr. Krylov presented Mr. Ilgiz Khanov with the Ambassador for Peace certificate,  acknowledging his special contribution to interreligious peacemaking and encouraging cooperation between religions in Russia. Finally, Mrs. Ogorodova congratulated the peace ambassadors of Kazan for their excellent program to strengthen interreligious dialogue and thanked the Khanov family for their hospitality and support.


The exhibition attracted many Kazan residents as well as visitors to the city. Foreign guests were particularly interested in information about the work of UPF in their countries. Many took pictures and enjoyed the refreshments, which featured special Tatar treats. About 120 people visited the exhibition over two days.

 


By Anastasia Ogorodova, Representative, UPF-Tatarstan February 4, 2024

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