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Official meetings of the leaders of the Adventist Church and the government took place in Uzbekistan

Church leaders express hope of good relationship between Adventist Church and government leaders.

Official meetings of the leaders of the Adventist Church and the government took place in Uzbekistan

[Photo courtesy of the Euro-Asia Division]

On November 16, the international conference of "Interfaith Dialogue and Religious Tolerance - Guarantee of Society Stability" was held at the Tashkent Islamic University. The event was organized by the government of Uzbekistan, the Tashkent Islamic University and the UNESCO Office in Uzbekistan.

The conference was attended by representatives from the government of Uzbekistan, presiding ambassadors from seven countries, leaders of public and religious associations in the country and abroad, as well as students and teachers of the Tashkent Islamic University, which is the leading higher educational institution in the country.

Pastors from the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty, Oleg Goncharov, as well as the head of the Adventist Church in Uzbekistan, pastor Andrew Ten, were invited to participate in the conference. Goncharov spoke at the conference and shared his hope for the development of good relationships between religious institutions and the government in Uzbekistan. Goncharov also gave an interview to the leading television channel of Uzbekistan, in which he spoke about the importance and principles of tolerance and its importance for the country and society.

The day after the conference, Ortybek Yusupov, the head of the Committee for Religious Affairs in the cabinet of ministers for the Republic of Uzbekistan, invited Goncharov and Ten to his office. Yusupov listened to the questions raised about the activities of the Adventist Church in Uzbekistan and promised to assist in resolving the problems of believing Adventists. They also talked about the importance of involving believers in social service to the community and to work to harmonize interfaith relations. Goncharov and Ten presented the leadership of the Committee with the book "Fundamentals of the Social Teaching of the Church of the Seventh-Day Adventist Christians"

Positive results have been achieved in relation to the issues of the Adventist Church in Uzbekistan over the past year. Work is underway to reconstruct prayer houses and register communities. Pastors and believers of the Adventist Church in Uzbekistan continue to pray for the president and government of the country, for the preservation and development of religious freedom and tolerance.