His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets with President Shavkat Mirzyoyev of Uzbekistan
On 29 September 2017, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with President Shavkat Mirzyoyev of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Taking part in the meeting were Metropolitan Vikenty of Tashkent and Uzbekistan; Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations; Mr. Vladimir Tyurdenev, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Uzbekistan; and Mr. Vladimir Legoyda, chairman of the Synodal Department for Church-Society and Mass Media Relations.
President Mirzyoyev noted the historical nature and particular importance of the current visit of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church in the light of strategic partnership Russia – Uzbekistan.
Also discussed was the upbringing of children and youth. His Holiness underscored the importance of religious education that allows fostering the younger generation in the spirit of antagonism against pseudo-religious extremism.
The President of Uzbekistan called the 145th anniversary of the Tashkent diocese a remarkable date and noted an important part played by it and by Metropolitan Vikenty of Tashkent and Uzbekistan in the development of religious life, consolidation of civil peace and accord in the country.
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill said: “It is with warm feelings that I came to Uzbekistan. I visited it many times in different historical epochs, and my recollections of staying here even in the Soviet period remain positive. The attitude to religion in Uzbekistan stood well above that in Russia. Though party members here shared the same ideology with Moscow, one could feel their respect of religious factor not clearly demonstrated.”
His Holiness also noted that Russia today had a worthy place in the world community, keeping its standpoint and added: “This feeling of national self-respect is very important to people. I believe that the developments in Uzbekistan are the same, especially due to your election. I happen to meet with different people in your country, including scholars and educators, and we see that the feeling of self-respect becomes even stronger.”
President Mirzyoyev and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill discussed a wide range of topics, including cooperation between the leadership of Uzbekistan and the diocese of Tashkent.