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Language of faith the driving force
2008-05-17
Thursday, 15 May, 2008, 02:18 AM Doha Time


Fr Abramov

Staff Reporter
A RUSSIAN Orthodox priest, who has attended the 6th Doha Conference of Inter-faith Dialogue, said the language of faith contributed considerably to developing mutual understanding among the participants.
Alexander Abramov, a priest of the Russia’s majority Orthodox Church, said: “This itself raises a lot of hope about the conference’s future.”
Fr Abramov, who is the United Nations’ representative to the World Russian People’s Council, told Gulf Times the language of faith was the language that every participant in such discussions was looking forward to.
“Needless to say, conferences like this encourage delegates to air their views on a range of subjects concerning religious faiths that requires utmost attention,” the Russian priest said.
Again, because of the familiarity of participants, discussions become friendly and informal, added the Russian priest.
Fr Abramov said besides a lot of challenging discussions, a number of intellectual issues were debated at this year’s meeting.
“And certainly, most discussions were of a higher standard,” he said. It showed how serious the organisers were in hosting a conference of this magnitude, with the participation of a number of important representatives of three different faiths from all over the world.
Thanking Qatar for what he described as its excellent hospitality, the Russian priest felt that it prompted the representatives to take part in discussions without fail every year.
On the reported serious differences the majority Russian Orthodox Church has with Catholic faith, the priest said the issue was being unnecessarily blown out of proportion by some vested interests.
“Actually, the environment has undergone a sea change with the election of Benedict XV1 as the Pope and his expected visit of Russia is seen with a lot of hope by members of the Russian Orthodox church.”
He felt the Pope appreciated the position taken by Russian church on a number of issues and it would go down well to smoothen the relations between the two groups.


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