Vth Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions
The Vth Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions was held from 10 to 11 June 2015 in Astana, Republic of Kazakhstan, on the theme: “Dialogue of religious leaders and politicians for peace and development”.
This initiative was launched in 2003 by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev. This Vth edition gathered together participants and delegations from around the world, including UN Secretary-General, heads of OSCE and UN agencies, and leaders and representatives of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and other religions.
Discussions informed the responsibility to humanity of religious and political leaders, new trends and prospects of interaction between religion and politics, and the influence of religion on young people, with some insight to the Action Plan of the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures. Debates were shaped around a four-fold agenda thus:
1) “Religious and Political Leaders: the Responsibility to humankind”
2) “The Influence of Religion on Youth: Education, Science, Culture and Mass Media”
3) “Religion and Politics: New Trends and Perspectives”
4) “Dialogue Based on Mutual Respect and Understanding among Leaders of World and Traditional Religions for Peace, Security and Harmony”
The Congress ended with a Final Declaration of participants calling, among other, “to ensure equal respect for world and traditional religions, for what they consider sacred and for the religious sentiments of believers while acknowledging inalienable human rights to freedom of conscience, opinion, speech and choice”, (…) “to respect religious diversity while promoting dialogue between world and traditional religions”.