October 18 in the frame of the Day of Spiritual Accord, at 14:00 (GMT + 6), Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan) will host an International conference themed: "Strengthening interfaith and interethnic harmony as an answer to modern world challenges ".
International Research-to-Practice Conference “Towards World Peace through Spiritual Culture” Astana, October 2012 Dear participants of the International Conference! Ladies and gentlemen! On behalf of the Organizing Committee let me greet all the conference participants! Distinguished scientific and cultural public representatives, religious figures, ambassadors of foreign states, accredited in Astana, and deputy corps will take part in it. We are very grateful to our guests who have accepted the invitation and arrived in the capital of Kazakhstan from more than 20 countries.
Today’s conference is working, regular, the kind we hold annually. On the other hand it is extraordinary and marks the anniversary. 20 years ago the First World Congress of Spiritual Culture took place in Almaty on 18 October 1992. For the first time ever in the human history the representatives of all religions, spiritual and public organizations, well-known scholars and men of culture, concerned with the spiritual issues, gathered around one table. The date of the Congress was not chosen by chance. A hundred years before it an attempt to convene the Congress was made in Chicago (USA), but unfortunately it was not continued.
Space. Earth. Humanity. These are the words that became the main Congress slogan in Almaty. It is these comprehensive words which indicate the basic ideas of the Congress, able to unite on the days of its work very different in outlook and confession people from different continents.
The common prayer at the opening of the Congress at the Palace of Republic was the most memorable episode. Three thousand people under one dome turned in unison to the Creator with the most sincere impulses of their hearts. They sounded in unison and appealed to safeguard peace on Earth, give patience and wisdom to all people regardless of religion and philosophy, provide orphans and deprived people with food and shelter. It is difficult to convey in words the unanimity which we had at the time of meditation. It was then when the aura appeared which during all these 20 years has been giving the vivifying energy to support that great beginning. This aura has been giving strength and opportunity to inherit the helm and aspirations of people who were the pioneers of our movement.
I think with admiration and respect about untimely passed away Valentin Mitrofanovich Sidorov, an outstanding poet and publicist, President of the International Association “Peace through Culture”, and Secretary General of the International Association “Peace through Culture” Georgyi Veslitskyi.
I express my deep gratitude and appreciation to those people who were the pioneers of our movement and are still in their ranks, supporting and strengthening our spirit. They are Tula and Belevsky Metropolitan Alexis (and 20 years ago – Archbishop of Almaty and Semipalatinsk), Inna Ippolitovna Nemirovskaya-Kun, Head of the social center “Consent”, a true peacemaker and humanist, William Augustat, President of the International Association “Peace through Culture - Europe”, Olzhas Suleimenov, my friend and a poet of eminence and public man, Plenipotentiary Representative of Kazakhstan in UNESCO, Eduard Balashov, a great Russian poet, and many others.
The role of Nursultan Nazarbayev, Head of State, in holding the First Congress is invaluable. Except for his support this Congress would have been simply impossible. It is enough to recall the time when it was convened. Kazakhstan as an independent state was not yet a year old. It is enough to recall the time when it was convened. The great empire has just broken up. This has led to enormous geopolitical changes in the world and deep turmoil in the minds and hearts of people. The countours of the future world order and the prospects of the newly independent states obscurely showed up. The economy was in deep decline and people lived very hard.
At that moment when everyone was facing the survival issues of the country and every single person, it was necessary to have the wisdom and foresight of our President to understand that the most important condition for a decent life was the spiritual core within us and spiritual concord was our precious asset.
Such principles as “Let’s have respect for faith!”, “Differences without Discord!”, “Co-service and Mercy!” became foundational for the work of the World Congress of Spiritual Concord. In the manifest accepted the participants of the Congress appealed to announce October,18 to be the Day of Spiritual Concord, the day of moratorium on conflicts and collisions, the day we seek to reconciliate, initiate understanding between people, the day of mercy and help towards fellow-creatures. Looking back at two passed decades, we sum up and elaborate on what we have been able to implement and what remains to be done.
Upon an initiative of the World Congress of Spiritual Concord a socially significant date – the Day of Spiritual Concord - had been included in Kazakhstani calendar. It is widely celebrated among public of our country with the full support of government agencies. This unique holiday is not yet on any other calendar of the world, but our supporters in other countries celebrate it also.
Carrying out the Days of Spiritual Concord, we have revived the traditions of charity, after they had been lost for decades. In as little as five years after the first Congress in 1997, 60 thousand people all over Kazakhstan gathered round one dastarkhan on one day and at one hour. And they were all united by feelings of mercy and compassion, attention to childhood and orphanage, old age and loneliness, the ill and disable people. Charity events on October 18 are not just a nice gesture, but really the creation of something for public weal, the creation of good. It is an impulse of the heart. And if it comes from the heart, it creates a return awe in the soul of a person who accepts it with gratitude. Thus a special spiritual connection between people is born.
At present, when the idea of achieving Spiritual Concord is acquiring more distinct lines, we have come to understand that a key element in achieving Spiritual Concord is Spiritual Culture.
The World Forum of Spiritual Culture, which was held in Astana on October 18-20, 2010, has become the most important stage of our work. More than 500 delegates from 72 countries of the world came to attend it. For the first time ever the Forum appealed to unite the two wings of spiritual culture: religious and secular spirituality, to which we can refer anything related to human activities outside the material culture.
The World Forum of Spiritual Culture indicated a deep crisis of modern technocratic civilization and the necessity to move to the civilization of Spiritual Culture. The Forum turned attention of the world community to the vital necessity to overcome the global crisis of spirit and morality. It urged everyone to mobilize their inner strength and physical ability to restore harmonious relationships between people, a man, space and nature, states, nations and the international community, an individual and the Higher World. In such a way the Forum at a new stage of its development picked up the torch of the First World Congress of Spiritual Culture in Almaty with its "Space. Earth. Humanity” slogan.
These and other priorities, generalizing and understanding of spiritual and creative experience gained over 20 years, will be the focus of today's meeting. Forthcoming discussion and elaborated on its results practical recommendations will contribute to the creation of a model of safeguarding human civilization on Earth.
I want to close my speech with the words:
Let’s Save Peace on our Planet!
Peace from my heart to your heart,
Peace from my home to your home,
Peace from my family to your family,
Peace from my country to your country.
World Peace - thanks to you and me,
Thanks to each one of us,
Who has touched Peacekeeping by the smallest part of his or her heart.
Peace to your home, your beloved, and your parents!
Peace on Earth for the sake of us all!
Love your neighbour and God in your heart!