Russia’s Chief Rabbi Lazar Meets With Muslim Mufti

Killing In the Name of Religion Defies Holiness, Says Lazar

Russia’s Chief Rabbi Lazar Meets With Muslim Mufti

File Photo

Moscow, Russia

December 30, 2010

( Russia’s Chief Rabbi, Berel Lazar met last week with the head of the recently established Russian Association of Islamic Accord (All-Russian Muslim Board), Mufti of Stavropol Muhammad Rakhimov

The two met at the Chief Rabbi’s offices in the Marina Roscha Jewish Center in Moscow, where they discussed inter-faith relations in Russia, specifically issues of inter-ethnic conflicts.

“Only by educating our children with faith in G-d, can we stop hatred between different ethnicities,” Rabbi Lazar said in his meeting with Rakhimov.

Speaking to following the meeting, Rabbi Lazar said that in their conversation, he expressed his views that “the mission of religion is to unite people and not bring division and hatred among them.

“People who kill in the name of religion are using the most holy of tools given to us by G-d for their own self-interest. They have nothing in common with religion,” he said emphatically.

Rabbi Lazar noted positive changes in Russia with regard to the country’s religious communities. He believes Russia can serve as a model to other countries in this respect, he said. Rakhimov concurred, and is hopeful, he said, to see more progress in these interfaith relations.

The Mufti asked for Rabbi Lazar’s help in facilitating visits by Muslim pilgrims to Jerusalem on their return from Mecca. Rabbi Lazar agreed. When people have an opportunity to learn about other faiths, it can only help cultivate mutual understanding, he said, encouraging these visits. 



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