AZERBAIJAN. UOC delegation takes part in Interreligious dialogue conference in Baku

On December 21, 2017, with the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy of Kyiv and All Ukraine , a delegation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, consisting of His Eminence Metropolitan Luka of Zaporizhzhia and Melitopol, and Deputy Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the UOC Archpriest Mykolay Danylevych, took part in an Interreligious conference in Baku (Azerbaijan) entitled “The Role of the 2017 – Year of Islamic Solidarity in the development of Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue“. Approximately 150 delegates from 40 countries attended the International forum which was organised by the Caucasus Muslim Board.

Addressing the conference during its opening was the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan His Excellency Ilham Aliyev. Welcome speeches of religious leaders from different denominations were also read. In particular, Metropolitan Emmanuel (Adamakis) of France read the message of His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople;  Metropolitan Lev of Novgorod and Staraya Russa – read the message of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus, and Metropolitan Theodore (Chuadze) of Akhaltsikhe and Tao-Klarjeti – read a Welcome message from Ilia II, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia and Archbishop of Mtskheta-Tbilisi.

Also addressing the conference was His Eminence Metropolitan Luka of Zaporizhzhia and Melitopol, who read the Welcome Message of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy of Kyiv and All Ukraine.

In the words of the Primate, it was emphasized that “The religious sphere impacts upon the depths of human existence. Here, a person is called to communion with God and for the development of reverence before the Most High. But at the same time, it is a sphere in which hatred and enmity can leave indelible marks for many decades”. That is why, according to His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy, our common task is the consolidation of peace in Ukraine as well as in the many other countries where Orthodox Christians and Muslims cohabitate. Our communities… are called upon today to bear witness of this spirit of peace as truly religious people should”.

During his stay in Baku, His Eminence Metropolitan Luka gave an interview to local media.

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