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Astana – Kazakh Head of State Nursultan Nazarbayev has awarded the Pontifical Council of the Vatican with the Prize for the contribution to interfaith dialogue. The awarded Prize was announced on Wednesday 10 October, at the opening ceremony of the Congress of world and traditional religions, held in Astana on 10 and 11 October.
“I would like to inform you about the decision to present the first prize of the Congress for the contribution to the interfaith dialogue to the Pontifical Council of the Vatican” said Nazarbayev, who added: “We are grateful to the Holy See for a big support of our forum. I would like to hand in this prize in your presence”.
The delegation of the Catholic Church at the Congress is led by Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and is formed by Mgr. Khaled Akasheh, head office for the Islam section at the Pontifical Council for Interfaith Dialogue; Archbishop Francis Assisi Chullikatt, Apostolic Nuncio to Kazakhstan, Bishop Vladimír Fekete SDB, Apostolic Prefect of Azerbaijian, Father Salim Daccache SJ, President of the Saint Joseph University of Beirut and Prof. Paola Bernardini, Holy Cross College of Notre Dame in the United States.
The event, in its sixth edition, sees the presence of over 80 delegations from 46 different States: among them representatives of Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism and members of religious and civic organizations.