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    MOSCOW, March 2, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Olga Lipich) - Spiritual leaders of CIS should unite their forces in bringing up the youth in the spirit of tolerance, believes Russia's chief rabbi Berl Lazar (according to the version of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia).

    "Our society badly needs tolerance," Lazar said on Tuesday in Moscow at the second CIS Interfaith Peace Forum. At the same time, according to the rabbi, society and religious leaders also need "to work jointly for each other's good, for the benefit of mankind," he said.

    "United, we will be able to educate a new generation in the spirit of common human values, will be able to withstand extremism," Lazar emphasised.

    According to him, "Judaism views the bringing together of people as a highly important and positive thing, naturally, when the aim of this process is positive." In his turn Adolf Shayevich, Russia's chief rabbi (according to the version of the Congress of Jewish Religious Organisations and Associations of Russia), noted that the Interfaith Peace Forum marks the beginning of an intensive effort, which must be continued in the localities.

    The forum is attended not only by leaders of confessions traditional in the space of the Commonwealth (Orthodoxy, Armenian-Gregorian church, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism), but also high-ranking statesmen, who attach much importance to clergymen's peace efforts.

    "There is no conflict of civilisations, there is a conflict of ignorance," said acting Minister of Russia Vladimir Zorin, who heads the government commission for the affairs of religious associations. According to him, CIS spiritual leaders should do all they can for people to look to the future with confidence and peace and accord to reign in society.

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