A bishop in Kazakhstan hopes Pope Francis' visit will reinforce the message of promoting peaceful coexistence among different ethnic groups and religions.
"The Pope’s participation at the upcoming Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Kazakhstan will serve to underline our vocation to be an example of peaceful coexistence among different ethnic groups and religions," said Bishop José Luis Mumbiela Sierra of Kazakhstan, the President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Central Asia.
"The presence of the Holy Father constitutes for the Congress itself its greatest achievement in all these years because the Pontiff is the most important and recognized international figure in the field of promoting dialogue between different nations, cultures and religions."
Bishop José Luis Mumbiela Sierra of the Holy Trinity diocese in Almaty explained the importance of Pope Francis' participation in the Seventh Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions that will take place in Nur-Sultan, the country's capital, September 14–15.
Kazakhstan is a nation situated between Asia and Europe. It became independent in 1990 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, of which it was a part, and is made up of different ethnic groups; a Muslim majority and a Christian minority, mainly Orthodox.
It is in this very diverse context that interreligious and intercultural dialogues have been enriching society as a whole for several years.
Bishop Mumbiela Sierra, who has recently been elected president of the Central Asian Bishops' Conference, expressed hope, saying, "The words that Pope Francis will speak during his visit will be received with fervor so that, in the future, this congress will be transformed into an authentic workshop for peace in the world."
"Pope Presence serves to underline the vocation of this country as a model of peaceful coexistence between different ethnic groups and religions," said Bishop Sierra.
In its 30 years of independence, Kazakhstan has tried to mark this roadmap in its new journey through history. It is a path that is not without its difficulties, of course, but it is worth being faithful to the great principles, even if that requires sacrifices.
Moreover, the Pope's visit is always a stimulus to promote love, fraternity, and hope. In the spirit of the Pope's visit, Catholics are called to transmit the light of Christ in Kazakhstan.
The Pope's visit will be a moment of grace so that the disciples of Jesus can renew their faith, hope, and charity.
"In this way, the entire country can receive a greater blessing because the authentic witness of faith is a gain for all who live among us," said the bishop. -With inputs from Vatican News
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