Speech by Archbishop Francis Assisi Chullikatt given at a conference on “The Model of Peace and Tolerance of Nursultan Nazarbayev”

First of all, I would like to thank the organizer of this conference, “Nursultan Nazarbayev Center for Development of Interfaith and Inter-Civilization Dialogue,” for the invitation.

In connection with the International Day of Tolerance, I would like to recall the inspiring principles of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This annual anniversary provides us with an additional opportunity to recognize and encourage people, institutions or non-governmental organizations that make a significant contribution to socio-cultural, religious or scientific activities, in the promotion of tolerance and non-violence.

That is why the topic we are discussing, “The Model of Peace and Tolerance of Nursultan Nazarbayev.” is of particular importance, since Nursultan Nazarbayev Center for Development of Interfaith and Inter-Civilization Dialogue was created specifically to promote tolerance and respect among religions, cultures and civilizations belonging to the heritage of the entire human family, and therefore they must be protected by nations, governments and all non-governmental organizations around the world.

For this very reason comes also the respect for every religious tradition, which is nourished and strengthened through inter-religious and inter-civilizational dialogue, to promote mutual understanding and cooperation between peoples and nations. This dialogue should respect the fundamental principles of religious consciousness, which today are attacked by an increasingly secularized mentality.

In this context, the First President’s Model of Peace and Tolerance, developed by the Nursultan Nazarbayev Center for the Development of Interfaith and Inter-Civilizational Dialogue, can make an obvious contribution to increasing tolerance and respect for the differences and uniqueness that exist in different cultures, civilizations, traditions and religions of the world.

For our part, we, as religious leaders, everyone in his own religious sphere, are also called to become creators of justice and peace and supporters of tolerance and respect. The modern world represents a serious form of injustice due to the ever-widening gap between rich and poor. The wars and conflicts taking place in various parts of the world constantly threaten peace and stability.

Facing many challenges, religious leaders are called upon to become prophets of justice and peace, advocates of inalienable human rights, proclaiming the news of peace and tolerance, defending the right to life and human dignity, and also caring for the protection of the weak, defenseless, oppressed, persecuted and humiliated, to be the voice of those who do not have the right to vote to assert their rights.

Only by becoming courageous proclaimers and builders of peace, harmony and brotherhood, we can become authors of tolerance in modern society.

Tolerance is born from the life of people who develop an atmosphere of peace, who fully appreciate the universal dimension of the family, who are open to God through the path of promoting universal brotherhood, culture, spiritual solidarity, and mutual love.

Through a culture of tolerance, coexistence and harmony, we really can spread a culture of peace, friendship and fraternity between the peoples and nations of the world, because these values, based on justice and the common good, show us the right way to achieve this goal, all people of goodwill are striving for that, for the universal, safe and lasting peace.

Therefore, I am sure that the Nursultan Nazarbayev Center will make all the efforts to further disseminate, both in Kazakhstan and the rest of the world, a culture of tolerance and dialogue as a model for establishing peace, friendship and brotherhood among peoples and nations of the whole world.

Thank you for your attention.

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