On August 25, 2022, on the eve of the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Georgia, together with the Nazarbayev Center for the Development of Interfaith and Intercivilizational Dialogue, held a roundtable titled “Interfaith Dialogue for Peace and Harmony".
The round table was attended by Project Director at the Public Opinion Research Institute Dr. Botagoz Rakisheva, representative of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee of Georgian Parliament David Muzashvili, Head of the Center for Analysis and Development of Interfaith Relations, Cand. Sc. History, Associate Professor Gulnaz Razdykova, Executive Director of the Civic Integration Foundation of Georgia Zaur Khalilov, Director of the Religious Studies Department of the Nazarbayev Center, Dr. Ruziya Kamarova, independent member of the Parliament of Georgia from the Adjara region Tariel Nakaridze, Chief Expert at Kogamdyk Kelisim RK MISD Dr. Gulmira Bilyalova, Chairman of the Board of the 21st Century Union Paata Gachechiladze, human rights activist and legal adviser to the spiritual leader of the Yazidi community Mr. Mirzoyev, Chief Expert at the Tolerance Center of the Office of the Public Defender of Georgia Beka Mindiashvili.
In his welcoming speech, the moderator and an expert from the Georgian Strategic Analysis Center Mr. Vasadze rendered his appreciation to the Kazakh side for organizing such a significant event dedicated to interfaith harmony and maintaining peace.
During the roundtable, Ms. Rakisheva addressed the relevance of sociological research for studying interfaith dialogue in various countries of the world.
In addition, in her statement, Ms. Razdykova spoke about the practical implementation of interfaith dialogue in one of the regions of Kazakhstan. She shared her experience of the work of the Religious Leaders’ Club and the establishment of interreligious relations. Ms. Razdykova also mentioned Kazakhstan's experience in combating religious extremism and terrorism.
Speaking as an expert from Kazakhstan, Ms. Kamarova noted the similarities of Georgian and Kazakh cultures, in history, cultural ties and the importance of further mutual cooperation. In addition, the Director of the Religious Studies Department noted the importance of the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions both for Kazakhstan and for ensuring a social platform for the dialogue of religions and different cultures.
In turn, Ms. Bilyalova spoke about the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, its history and importance for the modern world. Issues of religion, society and international security, according to the participant of the roundtable, are the most important topics for any country. In her intervention, Ms. Bilyalova shared her own experience of participating in the Congress and its pivotal role in transformation of people's mindsets, establishment of interfaith peace and harmony.
Representative of Georgia, Mr. Khalilov, delivered a statement where he highlighted the significance of the state's trust in various denominations. Over the 30 years of its independence, Georgia has observed certain changes in the models of relations between state and religion based on the pressing problems. The speaker addressed the current situation with Islamic movements in Georgia and foregrounding the interest in Islam within Georgian society. The participant also shared his experience in regulating religious education in Georgia.
In turn, the participants of the roundtable underlined the importance of promoting interfaith and intercivilizational dialogue at the international level, especially in the context of joint efforts to overcome the consequences of the pandemic.