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Religious leaders set to gather in Moscow for summit

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"The goal of the summit is to give religious leaders the opportunity to discuss their views on the most important problems of modern reality and present them to the Group of Eight [industrialized nations]," said Metropolitan Kirill.
Moscow, July 3 (RIA Novosti) - More than 100 leaders of religions and denominations will gather Monday in the capital of Russia for the first world summit to discuss the most urgent problems of modern times.

The World Summit of Religious Leaders will be held July 3-5 on the initiative of the Interreligious Council of Russia (ICR).

"The goal of the summit is to give religious leaders the opportunity to discuss their views on the most important problems of modern reality and present them to the Group of Eight [industrialized nations]," said Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, the head of the Moscow Patriarchate's External Church Relations Department.

The forum will focus on the fright against terrorism and extremism, xenophobia and racial intolerance, which will also be major issues when G8 leaders meet in St. Petersburg in the middle of the month.

"We have to find common ground on the issue of not accepting terrorism as a political means, reach a common conclusion and convey the message to our brethren," said Kharis Saubyanov, of the Council of Russia's Muftis.

The ICR was founded in 1998 as an affiliated member of the World Conference of Religions for Peace and unites representatives of four major religions in Russia: Orthodox, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism.

The leaders of Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France, Canada and Japan will gather in Russia's second city for the country's debut summit on July 15-17.

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