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    METROPOLITAN OF TASHKENT: UZBEKISTAN'S ORTHODOX BELIEVERS SUFFER NO VEXATIONS

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    TASHKENT, January 19, 2004. /RIA Novosti correspondent Valery Niyazmatov/ -- Russian Ambassador at Large Veniamin Popov will be visiting Tashkent on January 20-21 in order to examine the experience of inter-religious cooperation in Uzbekistan, the Russian Embassy said on Monday. Veniamin Popov is to hold meeting in the committee for religion, the Spiritual Department of Uzbekistan's Muslims, the Tashkent Islamic University and the Tashkent and Central Asian Eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church.

    Orthodox Christians in Uzbekistan hold the second place after Muslims. "Warm relations between believers are typical of multi-national and multi-religious Uzbekistan. The existing inter-ethnic and inter-religious accord can be called traditional without exaggeration," said Metropolitan of Tashkent and Central Asia Vladimir. "As a matter of fact, Islam is a tolerant religion acknowledging the right of all possessors of the Holy Writ on their own way to God and tolerance is an integral feature of Uzbek people," he noted.

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