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His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets with Chairman of the Caucasus Muslims’ Board

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets with Chairman of the Caucasus Muslims’ Board
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19 May 2023 year 19:47

On May 19, 2023, His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, met in Kazan with the Chairman of the Caucasus Muslim’s’ Board, Sheikh ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazadeh.

Participating in the meeting from the Russian Orthodox Church were Metropolitan Dionisy of Voskresensk, chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate; Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations; Metropolitan Kirill of Kazan and Tatarstan; Archimandrite Philaret (Bulekov), DECR vice-chairman. From the Board there were Solman Musayev, first vice-chairman of the Caucasus Muslims’ Board; and Gyuduz Babayev, assistant to the sheikh, reports the Patriarchal Press Service.

“Dear Brother, I am very glad that I have an opportunity for meeting with you today”, His Holiness said in particular, “Our meetings have always been held in a brotherly atmosphere, very sincerely, and by the grace of the Most High we have resolved much through a good dialogue. Using this opportunity, I would like to thank you for your kind attitude to the Orthodox Christians in Azerbaijan and for the advices you give”.

“You and I have always been like-minded”, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church noted, “It is a remarkable example of how two spiritual leaders can witness, not in words but in deeds, to our shared understanding of the tasks facing believers today. At international platforms too, when we meet, we have the same tasks and share the same position. All this is a very important indicator of our spiritual closeness and, if I may say so, friendship. Therefore, we value you very much, my dear brother, and wish you the Most High’s help in your work”.

“Thank you very much first of all for your having found time to receive us in so tough a schedule of your brief visit”, Sheikh-ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazadeh said on his part, “Truly, our relations with Your Holiness have gone far beyond interreligious communication. I really see in you an elder brother and true friend”.

“For how many years blood was shed in the Caucasus and armed conflicts continued! But your efforts for our beloved Caucasus that you have exerted for thirty years cannot be overestimated. I personally and all the Azerbaijani people and all the peace-loving peoples infinitely grateful to you for this concern. I am confident that in the hearts of Armenians, too, there is boundless gratitude to you, Your Holiness, because you have always sought to warn against bloodshed and to save human lives”, the mufti said.

“I cordially thank you, dear brother”, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill responded, “Indeed, our good communication is more important than just a dialogue of the Russian Church with Azerbaijan Muslims. You are an outstanding representative of today’s Islam, a highly respected man in the Islamic ummah and you are making an outstanding contribution to the religious life in the post-Soviet space”.

“You really have the talent to reconcile those who are very difficult to be reconciled. You have the courage, firmness and at the same time the readiness to sometimes soften your stand in order to ensure for your interlocutor the conditions for a sincere and fruitful dialogue with you. This is a rare quality, but watching you I have never seen you bringing an element of conflict in the consideration of topics discussed with your participation”, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill said and asked Pashazadeh to convey greetings to the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and his wife, the First Vice-President of Azerbaijan, Mehriban Aliyeva.

Patriarchal Press Service

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