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Kazakhstan's spiritual landscape can change drastically: Lama Sharif

19 march 2013, 18:28
0
Chairman of Kazakhstan Agency for Religious Affairs Kairat Lama Sharif. ©pm.kz
Chairman of Kazakhstan Agency for Religious Affairs Kairat Lama Sharif. ©pm.kz
Chairman of Kazakhstan Agency for Religious Affairs Kairat Lama Sharif told about the threats that could arise from mass transition of Kazakhstan young people to non-traditional religions, Tengrinews.kz reports from the international conference called Freedom of Faith in Kazakhstan.

“Even though there are quite few non-traditional religious unions, the thing is that apart from social outsiders they involve active and spiritually talented people and most frequently young people. That means that the country’s spiritual landscape can change drastically after one generation. And there is no guarantee that such changes will be beneficial for Kazakhstan and not for the countries that are interested in our natural resources only,” Kairat Lama Sharif said speaking about proselytism – conversion of people from historically and culturally conditioned religion to other religions and frequently to the ones absolutely non-traditional for the country.

According to Lama Sharif, it has already been noticed in Kazakhstan and in the neighboring countries that followers of religious trends who are active proselytes often make up and spread alternative versions of the countries’ history to justify the so-called “traditional nature” of the religion of their choice for the titular ethnic group.

“Such manipulations with historical mentality of people can form an alternative version national identity. In the other words, having accumulated certain critical mass, the religious processes inevitably go beyond the initial religion. Even the most developed country should not remain an indifferent observer in such a situation,” chairman of the Agency said.

He noted that the solution did not lay in bans and restrictions, but in raising religious literacy of the people, strengthening the national identity, as well as the historical one, and returning people to their spiritual roots and traditions.


By Renat Tashkinbayev

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