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His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia sent a message of greeting to the participants in the 9th meeting of the Joint Russian-Iranian Commission for Orthodoxy-Islam Dialogue, which takes place in Tehran, Iran, on 25-26 August 2014. The text of the message is given below.
Esteemed participants in the meeting,
I cordially greet you all as you have gathered in Tehran today to take part in a regular, already the ninth, meeting of the Joint Commission for the Dialogue between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Islamic community of Iran.
The meeting, dedicated to the theme “The Importance of Mutual Understanding between Islam and Orthodoxy and Ways of Achieving It”, is to sum up the results of the Commission’s work and give an impetus to the further deepening of cooperation. I would like to note that our dialogue continues to develop: in recent years, a wide range of issues has been discussed and mutual understanding on them has been achieved.
Today people’s consciousness appears to be rapidly radicalized, posing a serious threat to peace on Earth. War fires are blazing in various regions of our planet; blood of innocent civilian population is being shed; millions of people who have lost their homes and livelihood are living in a situation of humanitarian catastrophe. We see a growth of religiously motivated extremism victimizing Christians, Muslims, and the faithful of other religions. At the same time, religion is being ousted to the margins of social life in a number of world powers; moral relativism is being propagandized.
Leaders of religious communities are called to give a consolidated response to these challenges. I believe that their authority will help believers avoid dangerous steps and escape extremes. In this regard, our dialogue becomes especially urgent.
I wish the participants in the meeting every success in their work.