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Metropolitan Alexander and the Minister of Culture and Information of the Republic discussed issues of patriotic, spiritual and moral education of young Kazakhstanis

January 16, 2024. Astana. In the fireplace hall of the spiritual, cultural and administrative center of the Orthodox Church of Kazakhstan named after Equal-to-the-Apostles Cyril and Methodius, a meeting was held between Metropolitan Alexander of Astana and Kazakhstan and the Minister of Culture and Information of the Republic of Kazakhstan Aida Galymovna Balaeva.

The meeting was attended by: the dean of the parishes of the capital, Archimandrite Sergius (Karamyshev), the sacristan of the Assumption Cathedral, Archpriest Dimitry Baidek, the sacristan of the Constantine-Elenin Cathedral, Archpriest Sergius Kaliev and the Vice Minister of Culture and Information of Kazakhstan K.Zh. Iskakov.

During the conversation, the topic of improving state legislation in the field of religion was discussed, in particular, in matters of countering the penetration of ideologies alien to Kazakhstan into society. It was noted that, in general, the current law “On Religious Activities and Religious Associations” takes into account international experience and meets the basic generally accepted standards of human rights, ensuring interfaith harmony in the country. Taking into account the general context of the current socio-political transformations, the minister emphasized the advisability of introducing individual “targeted” changes to religious legislation. According to A.G. Balaeva, all amendments will be discussed with the involvement of specialists and experts from religious associations and public organizations.

A significant topic of the meeting was the issues of cultural and patriotic education of children and youth. The interlocutors noted that President K.-J.K. Tokayev says in almost every speech that young Kazakhstanis should be hardworking, know and love the culture and history of their native country, respect their own traditions and strive for self-development. According to Aida Galymovna, the ministry on an ongoing basis carries out comprehensive work, including patriotic and educational events, to stimulate and develop youth. The minister said that in order to solve social problems, improve the quality of services provided, as well as issues of psychological health and the prevention of family and domestic conflicts, 16 grant projects are being implemented this year; in all regions there is an extensive network of youth resource centers that provide information and consulting services.

Metropolitan Alexander shared with A.G. Balayeva’s plans for the activities of the Metropolitan District for 2024 in the field of preserving the historical and cultural heritage, perpetuating the memory of the new martyrs and confessors of Kazakhstan, developing the spiritual and moral education of children and youth. The Metropolitan noted that at present it is necessary to provide a large number of Orthodox parishes in the country with convenient premises for holding cultural and educational events with different categories of believers. Among the tasks facing the Orthodox Church of Kazakhstan, the archpastor outlined the creation of a diocesan concert and exhibition hall in Almaty and the construction of a multidisciplinary spiritual and educational center in Astana for working with children and adolescents. The head of the Metropolitan District told the minister about the implementation of a significant project - the organization in Almaty of a museum of an outstanding church figure of the twentieth century, confessor of the faith, Metropolitan Joseph (Chernov), whose name is revered by millions of people both in Kazakhstan and abroad. The house-museum, located next to the resting place of the elder saint in the Iversko-Seraphim Monastery, as the hierarch noted, will become a place of attraction for numerous admirers of the memory of Metropolitan Joseph and a center for large-scale research work on the preservation and study of the spiritual heritage of Kazakh saints.

According to Metropolitan Alexander, the year of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Astana and Alma-Ata diocese will be a time of special attention to the spiritual and moral education of the younger generation. As part of the celebration of the historical date, an all-Kazakhstan festival of Orthodox youth and regional creative gatherings will be organized.

The parties expressed their intentions to further cooperate in promoting the principles of interfaith harmony and interreligious dialogue.

At the end of the meeting, which took place in a friendly and businesslike atmosphere, the archpastor and the head of the ministry exchanged wishes for health and success in their work for the benefit of Kazakhstan.