Kazakhstan's policy in the religious sphere is focused on strengthening tolerance: Nazarbayev

ASTANA. February 19. KAZINFORM Today, Head of State Nursultan Nazarbayev has met with the representatives of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kazakhstan at the Akorda presidential residence.

The presidential press service told Kazinform the meeting was attended by Secretary of State Marat Tazhin, Head of the Presidential Administration Karim Massimov, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Baglan Mailybayev, Chairman of the Kazakh Agency for Religious Affairs Kairat Lama Sharif, newly elected Chairman of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kazakhstan Yerzhan Mayamerov and imams from the regions.

Addressing those present, President Nazarbayev stressed the meeting coincided with an important event for all Muslims of the country.

"Today, the new chairman of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kazakhstan has been elected. Yerzhan Mayamerov graduated from one of the most prestigious universities in the world - Al-Azhar University in Egypt. He has extensive experience in being a head of the spiritual directorate. I believe all of you will enjoy fruitful work together," the Kazakh President said.

Nursultan Nazarbayev also emphasized that Islam has been a spiritual value of the Kazakh nation for many centuries.

"After attaining independence, we have turned to the religion of our ancestors again. The spiritual administration has united 2 228 mosques across the country and pulled together Muslims of Kazakhstan," Nursultan Nazarbayev noted.

In addition, he paid attention to a number of tasks to be fulfilled by the spiritual administration. In particular, it is crucial to cement cooperation in the spiritual and social spheres between the spiritual administration and government agencies.

Nursultan Nazarbayev also urged the new leadership of the spiritual administration to consolidate the traditions of mutual understanding and religious tolerance together with other religious associations. The work on further strengthening of inter-ethnic accord is to be continued as well.

"Kazakhstan is a secular state and our policy in the religious sphere is well-balanced with a focus on strengthening inter-ethnic peace and tolerance," the Kazakh leader concluded.

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