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    MOSCOW TO HOST CIS INTERFAITH FORUM

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    MOSCOW, March 1 (RIA Novosti) -More than 20 religious leaders from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are arriving in Moscow on Monday to participate in the 2nd Interfaith Peacemaking Forum, the Interfaith Council of Russia told RIA Novosti.

    At the initiative of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexis II, Sheikh-ul-Islam Allahshukyur Pasha-zade, the chair of the Board of Caucasus Muslims, and the Interfaith Council of Russia the forum will be held in Moscow, March 2-4.

    The purpose of the forum is to coordinate the activities of traditional religious organizations in the CIS to strengthen interethnic and interfaith peace, affirm traditional spiritual values in society and jointly struggle against common challenges, in particular terrorism.

    The establishment of a CIS Interfaith Council that includes the CIS' foremost religious leaders is planned to be the major achievement of the forum. The council will represent CIS countries and the five traditional religions - Orthodox Christianity, the Armenian Gregorian Church, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism.

    The forum does not intend to draw the dogmas and doctrines of different religions closer together, combine prayers or divine services, or discuss theological problems. The forum will continue the work of the first Interfaith Peacemaking Forum that was held in Moscow, November 13-14, 2000.

    Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexi II, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II and chairman of the Board of Caucasus Muslims Sheikh-ul-Islam Allahshukyur Pasha-zade, who approved the forum at a quadripartite meeting in Moscow last November, will participate in the forum.

    Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine Vladimir, Metropolitan of Minsk and Slutsk Filaret, Metropolitan of Chisinau and Moldova Vladimir, Metropolitan of Astana and Alma Ata Mefody, chairs of the Religious Boards of the Muslims of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan, and other religious leaders will also participate in the forum.

    Statesmen, politicians, scientists and public figures of CIS countries and representatives of foreign interfaith structures will attend the forum.

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