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On 9 October 2018, Metropolitan Hilarion, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR) arrived in Astana to take part in the 6th Congress of the leaders of world and traditional religions. He was met at the airport by Metropolitan Alexander of Kazakhstan and Astana; Mr. Sergey Yershov, deputy of the Senate of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Archimandrite Sergy (Karamyshev), dean of the Astana church district Rev. Dimitry Safonov, DECR secretary for inter-religious contacts, and clergymen of Astana.

That same day Metropolitan Hilarion met with Mr. Darkhan Kaletayev, minister of social development of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Taking part in the meeting were also Metropolitan Alexander of Kazakhstan and Astana and Mr. Kaisar Dzhanakhanov, chairman of the Committee for public consent of the Ministry of social development. Discussed were new legislative initiatives regarding relations between the state and confessions in Kazakhstan. Mr. Kaletaeyv explained the work of the recently formed ministry, which had been called earlier the Ministry for religions and civil society affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Metropolitan Hilarion underscored that public consent in society could be reached with the role of traditional religions taken into account.