APPEAL
BY THE PARTICIPANTS OF THE IV CONGRESS OF LEADERS OF WORLD AND TRADITIONAL RELIGIONS
Astana, May 30-31, 2012

We, the participants of the IV Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, are united in our recognition of the divine design for human beings and their dignity and inalienable rights. We express our aspiration and commitment to peace and harmony as the only valid choice of humanity for the sake of its bright future.
We are deeply grateful to the Republic of Kazakhstan for its noble initiative of promoting dialogue among religions and cultures aimed at enhancing mutual respect, understanding and cooperation among believers of different religions, peoples and states for the common good of humanity.
We believe that religion is one of the most important and influential means of addressing contemporary social issues as well as of achieving comprehensive peace and prosperity.
We express our readiness, along with political and public figures to appropriately address current spiritual, ethical and moral challenges including extremism and terrorism that use religion as a cover-up.
On behalf of the people belonging to different religions and spiritual traditions, we recognize as common values mutual respect, understanding and harmony that are encouraged through interreligious dialogue. Their significance allows us to hope and affirm that in the second decade of the 21st century the human community will continue to work towards faith, friendship, solidarity, justice and creative activity. Therefore, we need to take full advantage of the world’s diverse religions and cultures.
We regard the strengthening of the moral and spiritual basis of society and the revival of traditional family values as indispensable conditions for the sustainable development of the world and a key to understanding the essence and objective of human existence. We are convinced that the constructive role of women in family and society must enjoy deep respect and recognition and receive every possible support from people and organizations.
The future of the world is in the hands of the youth. We affirm the significance of shaping positive life themes for our young people, strengthening the basis of their moral values, spiritual development and progress through education at all levels.
Young people today from childhood should have the right to acquire fundamental knowledge of their own religion the same way as they study their native tongue, history and culture. At the same time, we are aware that a person who knows his or her own religion never treats any other religion with disrespect.
We are confident that aided by these values, the world will protect itself against self-destruction and will boost its development potential.
We are concerned with ongoing wars, interethnic clashes and growth in crime, manifestations of religious intolerance and radicalism that lead to violence in different parts of the world. Following our religious traditions, we condemn the threat or use of force in any form and call upon all states to make joint efforts to tackle these issues through dialogue.
We are convinced that the only way to create a safe world is through a dialogue based on the principles of mutual respect and understanding, compassion and forgiveness, justice and solidarity, peace and harmony. In this regard we urge improvement in the mechanisms of interaction between religious communities, political leaders, international organizations and civil society.
We support the Council of Religious Leaders, which is aimed at enhancing mutual understanding and cooperation between the representatives of various religions.
We appeal to all people of good will support the activity of the Council of Religious Leaders and join our efforts to build a just, safe and prosperous world.
We wish peace, well being and prosperity to every human being.