From 17 to 18 October 2017 the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation in Astana hosted an international conference “Spiritual Renewal is the Path to Prosperity and Harmony”. It was organized by Akimat of Astana, Metropolitan Directorate of Religious Affairs and International Association “Peace through Culture”.
The conference was attended by Nurlan Yermekbaev, Minister of Religious Affairs and Civil Society, Yermek Amanshayev, Deputy Akim of Astana, Kazakh musician and public person, Tolegen Mukhamedzhanov, President of the International association “Peace through Culture”, Olzhas Suleimenov, diplomat, politician and public figure, Iosif Kobzon, People's Artist of the USSR and Russia, and representatives from the Assembly of Eurasia’s Peoples, international organizations, ministries of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Akimat of Astana, scientific communities, clergy and others.
“Spiritual Renewal is the Path to Prosperity and Harmony” conference was a platform for open dialogue between representatives of scientific and cultural communities, religious leaders and public persons from different countries. The tone in the discussions of important issues on the agenda was set by initiatives of Kazakhstan and the Head of State Nursultan Nazarbayev, in particular his article “Looking Ahead: Modernization of Public Consciousness” which calls for a spiritual renewal and creation of a single nation. There were further progress towards comprehension of the modern era, its identity and characteristics in the light of new scientific data on the world order and the present challenges that humanity faces today.
The Minister Nurlan Ermekbaev, in his statement, noted that today there is so much conflicts in the world. According to him, trust arises only where there is knowledge, comprehension of the culture and respect for the spiritual needs of each other. The Minister said: “The President of Kazakhstan is considered as mastermind of Eurasianism. The programs, tasks and projects outlined in the article “Looking Ahead: Modernization of Public Consciousness” are of interest, including in the context of Eurasian cooperation. In this regard, the program “Modern Kazakhstan Culture in the Global World” is especially relevant. “Tugan zher” program is equally relevant for consideration. It is focused on developing a system of patriotic education and civic engagement”.
Yermek Amanshayev, Deputy Akim of Astana, was the Moderator of the plenary session of the conference. He said that today there are over 100 ethnic groups and 49 religious groups in the capital consisting of 14 denominations. They make an invaluable contribution to strengthening of the society, its development and prosperity. Yermek Amanshayev also said: “Astana has become recognizable on the world map as a center for intercultural and interreligious dialogue”.
The Message to the peoples of Eurasia that refers to the need to support active, targeted actions to further advance along the path of spiritual and moral transformation of Kazakh society, its humanization and cultural advancement was adopted at the plenary session of the conference. Modernization of public consciousness is designed to be the main mechanism of such transformation. This Message will be read out at the meeting of the Eurasia’s Peoples Assembly that will be held in Paris at the end of this year.
Foreign participants held several meetings with the public of Astana. Thus, Khalid Al Roushd, an expert in Arab and Asian studies, author and host of “Witnesses of the era” on TV channel «RussiaToday», gave a master class for journalists on “The role of modern journalism within World Information War”. Mary Pat Fisher, representative of Gobind Sadan Institute for Advanced Studies in Comparative Religions and the Head of the Foreign Relations Department (India), gave a lecture to the students of Eurasian National University on “Finding the true path in Life”.
Every year on Spiritual Consent Day there are large scale charity events in Kazakhstan. In keeping with the tradition, volunteers from the capital gave away 1,000 food packages to vulnerable groups. In addition, Kazakhstan representatives of the Red Crescent taught a master class for volunteers.
As part of Spiritual Consent Day an extended meeting of the Presidium of the Council of the Eurasia’ Peoples Assembly and the round table of the Presidium of the World Forum of Spiritual Culture were held in Astana. Its participants also became guests of the international conference.
Gala concert with participation of Iosif Kobzon, People's Artist of the USSR and the Russian Federation, Nurzhamal Usenbayeva, People's Artist of Kazakhstan and Tatarstan, Dario di Vietri (Italy) and Yevgeniy Chaynikov, leading singer of the Astana Opera theater, closed the event program.