President IAP Sergey Gavrilov: “Russia will provide Iran with experience solving religious problems”

Sergey Gavrilov and Archbishop of Tehran Armenians Sargsyan

The Chairman of the Duma Committee on civil society development issues, public and religious associations, the President of the inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy Sergey Gavrilov discussed the characteristics and prospects of development of inter-confessional and inter-ethnic relations with a number of religious leaders in Tehran.

The parliamentarian took part in meetings with Tehran Armenians Archbishop Sebo Sarkissian of the Christian deputies of the Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Head of the International centre for dialogue between religions, Mohammad Ali Tashiri.

“In Iran the traditional religions equal, in Parliament there are seats for representatives of Christianity, a special “reserve”. However, Christians are concerned about many issues: the strength of interfaith dialogue, the sanctity of Christian Holy places and the protection of the rights of believers, the strengthening of the foundations of faith to achieve lasting peace”, – said Sergey Gavrilov.

The MP expressed readiness to share the Russian experience of solving problems in these areas, as, according to Sergey Gavrilov, “Russia is a leader in the field of protection of believers’ rights, preserve traditional values of Islam, of Orthodoxy.”

Sergey Gavrilov and M. Mahdi Tashiri

Following the meeting with the Head of the International centre for dialogue between religions, Mohammad Ali Tashiri (Dr. Mohammad Mahdi Tashkhri) Sergey Gavrilov said that “Mohammad Tashiri was behind the creation of the Joint Russian-Iranian Commission for dialogue “Orthodoxy-Islam”, which is a “bridge” between believers of different religions”.

“The eleventh meeting of the Commission held in the Iranian capital in may 2018 was expected, relevant and focused on the theme “Religion and environment”. The Orthodox delegation headed by Metropolitan of Kazan and Tatarstan Theophanes took part in the discussion of the Orthodox understanding of the environmental crisis. During its existence, the Commission is successfully implementing the task of strengthening the dialogue between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Muslim community of the Islamic Republic of Iran”, – said Sergey Gavrilov.

The MP also discussed with the Head of the International centre for dialogue between religions, Mohammad Tashiri problems of extremism and terrorism using religious slogans to justify their actions to destroy the centuries-old relations between Christians and Muslims, the genocide of Christians in the middle East, the intensification of Islamophobia in the Western world.

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