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A presentation of the Holy Scripture books translation into Kazakh language took place in Alma-Ata

November 30, 2022. Alma-Ata. With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus', a presentation of the Holy Scripture books translation into Kazakh language and professional edition of the translated texts took place in the conference hall of Rixos Almaty.

The initiative to translate Bible books into Kazakh under the auspices of the Metropolitan District of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Republic of Kazakhstan belongs to Metropolitan Alexander of Astana and Kazakhstan.

The implementation of the project belongs to the public fund "Apostol" under the leadership of President G.G. Sosnovsky.

Throughout the year, employees of the Kazakhstan Metropolitan District and the Apostol Foundation, a translator from the Astana diocese, an ethnic Kazakh priest Elisey Kukeev and leading specialists of the Helvetia translation agency, well-known in Kazakhstan, worked on translation and publication.

The first books presented to Kazakh public were the Gospel of Matthew, the Psalter and the Proverbs of Solomon.

The event, which took place under the chairmanship of Metropolitan Alexander was attended by: Bishop Gennady of Kaskelen, Bishop of Aktobe and Kyzylorda Ignatius, Vicar of the Astana Diocese Bishop Klavdian of Taldykorgan; the dean of the parishes of Alma-Ata, rector of St. Nicholas Cathedral, mitred archpriest Valery Zakharov, head of the public relations department of the Metropolitan District, archpriest Alexander Suvorov; Archpriest Yevgeny Ivanov, Head of the Information and Publishing Department of the Metropolitan District; Priest Georgy Sidorov, Head of the Administrative Secretariat of the Head of the Metropolitan District and Archdeacon Roman Golovin, Head of the Metropolitan Protocol Service.

Among the clergy present were ethnic Kazakhs: Priest Elisey Kukeyev, translator of the Alma-Ata diocese, archpriest Sergiy Kaliev, dean of the Constantine and Yeleninsky Cathedral in Astana, archpriest Mark Bekkaliev, rector of the church in honor of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God of the village Hegumen Serafim (Filkov), cleric of the Vvedensky Cathedral in the city of Karaganda, Archpriest Ahiya Rakhimzhanov, rector of the Sretensky Church in the village of Balpyk Bi, Zhetysuy Region, Yury Didichin, cleric of the Exaltation of the Cross Church in the city of Karaganda, Priest John Nurtazin, cleric of the Church of the Archangel Gabriel in the city of Taldykorgan, deacon Rustik Nurgaliyev, cleric Uar Zhazitov of the Resurrection Cathedral in the city of Kokshetau, cleric of the Ascension Cathedral, Deacon John Atyrkhan.

Among the guests of honor of the presentation: a representative of the Ministry of Information and Public Accord of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Chairman of the Committee for Religious Affairs Ye.B. Nukezhanov; representatives of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Chairman of the Committee of Culture D.A. Aliyev and Chairman of the State Book Chamber A.K. Kaitanov; representative of Alma-Ata’s akimat - head of the department for religious affairs N.M. Kikimov.

The event was attended by Archbishop-Metropolitan Tomas Peta, Administrator of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Astana; Bishop Jose Luis Mumbiela Sierra, Bishop of the Archdiocese of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Astana, Bishop Athanasius Schneider; Archbishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kazakhstan Yuri Novgorodov; Secretary of the Kazakhstan Metropolitan District, Honored Artist of Russia, member of the Patriarchal Council for the Development of Church Singing O.N. Ovchinnikov; Consul General of the Russian Federation in Alma-Ata E.P. Bobrov, Deputy Head of the Representative Office of Rossotrudnichestvo in the Republic of Kazakhstan T.V. Baryshnikova, employee of the Consulate General of Russia T.V. Zubkov; Honorary Consul of Greece in Alma-Ata P.G. Hutidi, US Consulate General Political Adviser S. Fontela; President of the Academy of Journalism of the Republic of Kazakhstan S.K. Kazybaev, academician of the Academy of Journalism of the Republic of Kazakhstan, member of the Olzhas Suleimenov Literary Fund, honorary journalist V.A. Zhandauletov; General Director of the Kazakhstan Bible Society V.I. Grishko; Head of the Department of Culture of the Metropolitan District, Honored Worker of Culture of the Russian Federation L.E. Goricheva; Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and Political Science of the Kazakh National University. al-Farabi, candidate of philosophical sciences B.B. Meirbaev; teachers and students of the Alma-Ata Orthodox Theological Seminary; management of the National Library of the city of Alma-Ata, university professors, journalists, public figures, representatives of the scientific and creative intelligentsia.

Metropolitan Alexander opened the presentation with his speech. “Our country is a secular state, but traditional religions, first of all, Hanafi Islam and Christianity, occupy a special position in Kazakhstani society; they are not only a significant factor in interethnic harmony and social stability, but also one of the sources of preserving and strengthening historical memory, folk culture, morality and enduring moral ideals. The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, esteemed Kassym-Jomart Kemelevich Tokayev, notes: “Religions at all times performed the basic function of education. The Koran, the Bible, the Torah and other scriptures are saturated with the ideas of humanism, compassion and mercy. They reject aggression, do not accept radicalism, condemn violence, preach tolerance and moderation.” This year, marked by a historical date - the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkestan diocese, under the auspices of the Orthodox Church of Kazakhstan, a large-scale project was launched - translation of the Holy Scriptures books of the Old and New Testaments into modern Kazakh. And now we are presented with the first results of this very difficult painstaking work of secular and ecclesiastical specialists, which was carried out over several months. Some of the most widely read and famous biblical books were translated into Kazakh language - the Gospel of Matthew, the Parables of King Solomon and the Psalter. A religious examination of the translated texts was carried out, according to which these books are recommended for distribution and use on the territory of our country,” said the Head of the Metropolitan District.

"It is impossible to make a high-quality translation without relying on culture of the people, on their traditional values, ideas about God, about the world, about man." Kazakh language, one of the richest and most expressive languages in the world, it is a precious part of the ancient and multifaceted culture of Kazakh people. The proposed new translation of the sacred texts is made by ecclesiastical and secular speakers of Kazakh culture and Kazakh language, taking into account modern linguistic norms and rules. Experts used the whole palette of linguistic means to convey the beauty and diversity of biblical texts, their spirit, meaning and style,” the archpastor emphasized in his speech.

“The publication of the books of the Bible in Kazakh language is invaluable cognitive, historical and cultural significance. The appearance of this translation provides an opportunity for a huge number of people to get acquainted in their native language with the greatest literary monument of mankind, on which a significant part of the entire world culture is based. The translation of the Bible into Kazakh language is a good stimulus for its study and understanding, and, of course, a serious and significant contribution to the spiritual and intellectual development of multi-confessional and multi-ethnic Kazakhstan - our common home,” summed up the metropolitan.

Georgy Gennadyevich Sosnovsky, president of the Apostol Public Foundation, told the audience about the details of the project implementation, its relevance and spiritual and cultural significance for the Kazakhstani society, regardless of religious and national affiliation.

The participants of the presentation were shown a documentary film about the translation process and the details of the typographical work. The tape contains a story about the purpose of translating the Holy Scriptures into different languages, sketches from the place of printing of new books, interviews with a translator of biblical texts, Priest Elisey Kukeyev, and a well-known Kazakh designer Ilyar Niyazov, who worked on the appearance of publications.

Chairman of the Committee for Religious Affairs of Kazakhstan Ye.B. Nukezhanov. Yerzhan Bolatkanovich announced the greeting of the Minister of Information and Social Development of the country D.K. Kydyrali to Metropolitan Alexander, which, in particular, said: “The Holy Scriptures are the main guidelines in the knowledge of the truths of the dogma and constant spiritual improvement. The painstaking work carried out by you in translating books makes a significant contribution to the establishment of traditional values and spiritual ideals. I am convinced that pious deeds will continue to be done through your efforts and mutual understanding of our multifaceted society will grow stronger.”

Word of the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Kazakhstan D.A. Abaev was read by the Deputy Head of the Department of Culture of Alma-Ata D.A. Aliev. “This historical event – the presentation of the books “The Gospel of Matthew”, “Psalter” and “Parables of Solomon” – have particular importance for the Orthodox believers of the Republic of Kazakhstan. In terms of content, the high quality of the translation distinguishes it from previous translations made earlier. I think that the books that have been published will be appreciated not only by Orthodox believers, but also by specialists and experts in the field of religion, as well as those who study the Holy Scriptures. I also assess this project as a contribution to the further strengthening of unity and interreligious harmony in the Kazakh society,” the welcome address says.

From the akim of the Southern capital E.A. Dosaev was congratulated by the head of the city department for religious affairs N.M. Kikimov. “For the modern Kazakh society, Orthodox Christianity is one of the traditional religions that have made a huge contribution to its cultural and historical development. The translation of the texts of the Holy Scripture into Kazakh language, prepared on the initiative and with the participation of specialists from Kazakh Metropolitan District, it is a tribute to the deep respect for Kazakh people, their rich spiritual culture, history and identity. We deeply appreciate the enormous work to increase the quality of religious literature in the state language. We are sure that it will be of interest not only to our believing fellow citizens, but also to those who shows a scientific interest in the study of religions,” the Alma-Ata akim said in a greeting address.

Representatives of traditional Kazakhstani confessions, who arrived at the presentation from the capital of the Republic, shared their thoughts on the importance of this project: Roman Catholic Archbishop-Metropolitan Tomas Peta and Evangelical Lutheran Archbishop Yuri Novgorodov.

As part of the presentation, a briefing was held for representatives of state and private media. Director General of Helvetika Translation Agency Evgenia Sikhimbayeva, project curator Oksana Tanskaya and priest Elisey Kukeev spoke about the tasks facing the specialists, shared their impressions of the work and answered journalists' questions.

Metropolitan Alexander honored those who worked in the translation and publication of biblical books with church awards. President of the public fund "Apostle" G.G. Sosnovsky, the Head of the Orthodox Church of Kazakhstan presented the medal of Archbishop Sofoniya (Sokolsky) - the first archpastor of the Turkestan diocese, enlightener of the Great Steppe and Semirechye.

Each participant of the presentation received a gift edition - the Gospel of Matthew, the Psalter and the Book of Solomon in the Kazakh language.
Concluding the event, Metropolitan Alexander emphasized that the great and serious work of translating biblical books into Kazakh, with the involvement of leading secular and ecclesiastical specialists, is currently ongoing. As the archpastor noted, in the near future, all translated books of the Holy Scriptures will be presented to Kazakh public.