Asia and Eurasia
Valdai Club to Discuss Religious Polyphony and National Unity

On November 24, Kazan will host a Valdai Discussion Club conference, titled “Religious Polyphony and National Unity”.

In the current period, amid the end of the most recent historical era, when the world once again finds itself at a spiritual and intellectual crossroads, the Valdai Club has decided to turn to the fundamental ideas that determine the internal order in states and form public consciousness — to the connection between religion, culture and politics. If before the Club had already held debates on a similar topic in separate sessions, this time it was decided to devote a whole conference to the interconnectedness of religion, ethics, national identity and the resulting approaches to issues of domestic and foreign policy. Russian and foreign church hierarchs, philosophers, religious scholars, sociologists and international scholars are invited to it, including Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk; Mufti Kamil Hazrat Samigullin, Chairman of the Spiritual Board of Muslims of the Republic of Tatarstan; Did Khambo Lama of the Traditional Buddhist Sangha of Russia in the North-Western region, Shireete Lama of the St. Petersburg Datsan Gunzechoinei Buda Badmaev; and Mikhail Piotrovsky, Director of the State Hermitage Museum.

The main task of the Kazan conference is to discuss the secret to maintaining stability within multinational and multi-confessional societies. The second task is to determine how multi-nationality and religious pluralism could promote international cooperation in the face of geopolitical tensions.

In their discussions, the guests of the conference will rely, among other things, on the Russian experience of combining a multinational and multi-confessional society that does not have internal civilizational barriers. At the 19th Annual Meeting of the Valdai Club last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin said: “Over a thousand years, Russia has developed a unique culture of interaction between all world religions. There is no need to cancel anything, be it Christian values, Islamic values or Jewish values. We have other world religions as well. All you need to do is respect each other.”

It is expected that the conference will be attended by more than 20 experts from 8 countries — Russia, Egypt, India, Iran, Malaysia, UAE, Serbia and Tajikistan. Among the foreign guests of the conference are Kayhan Barzegar, Director of the Institute for Middle East Strategic Studies in Tehran; Muhammad Beshari, Secretary General of the World Council of Muslim Communities; Muhammad Athar Javed, Founder and CEO of Pakistan House; Abdul Razak Ahmad, Bait Al Amanah Founding Director; Aleksandar Raković, Chief Researcher at the Institute of Contemporary History of Serbia in Belgrade; Nourhan ElSheikh, Professor of Political Science at Cairo University; Rustam Khaydarov, Deputy Director of the A. Bahovaddinov Institute of Philosophy, Political Science and Law of the National Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan and others.

From the Russian side, the conference will be attended by: Alikber Alikberov, Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Kirill, Metropolitan of Kazan and Tatarstan; Zhargal Dugdanov, Vice-Rector of the Zayaev Buddhist University; Andrey Bystritskiy, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club; Timofei Bordachev, Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club, and others.

It is no coincidence that Kazan was chosen as the venue for the conference on this topic. The capital of Tatarstan for many centuries has been a vivid example of close and peaceful coexistence between different religions, while at the same time being one of the most important centres of Russian Islam — this year Tatarstan celebrates the 1100th anniversary of the adoption of Islam by Volga Bulgaria.

Working languages: English, Russian.

All sessions of the conference will be open to the media and will be broadcast on all online platforms of the Valdai Club: on the websiteTwitterVKontakteTelegram and Yandex.Zen.

Dear media representatives, accreditation is open until 6:00 pm Moscow time on November 23. For accreditation, please fill out the form on our website.