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The new law does not impair the equality of religions: Chairman of the Agency for Religion

18 october 2011, 15:38
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Kairat Lama Sharif, Chairman of the Agency for Religion. flickr.com
Kairat Lama Sharif, Chairman of the Agency for Religion. flickr.com
The new legislation on religion [signed by President Nazarbayev October 13] does not impair the equality of religions before the law, Lama Kairat Sharif, Head of the State Agency for Religion, believes, Novosti Kazakhstan reports.

“Neither religion shall be pronounced to be a state religion or an obligatory religion; the preamble emphasizes the historical role of the Hanafi school of Islam and the Russian Orthodox Church in the culture and spiritual life of Kazakhstan’s people and calls for respect for other religions that go in line with the spiritual legacy of Kazakhstan’s people”, Lama Sharif said when speaking at a religion forum in Astana October 18.

“These provisions do not violate equal rights of religious institutions as the law does not provide for privileged conditions for a particular religion”, he stressed.

“A positive factor (…) is century-long co-existence of Islam and the Russian Orthodox Church which resulted in a certain balance among religions and (…) both religions have occupied their niches, maintaining inter-faith dialogue and channels of social interaction”, Head of the Agency believes.

According to him, “it is not a coincidence that Kazakhstan has declared Kurban Ait and Christmas as national holidays (…) no one is privileged or discriminated against”.

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