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How to close loopholes for destructive religious movements in Kyrgyzstan?

14/11/14 08:07, Bishkek – 24.kg news agency, by Eleonora SAGYNDYK kyzy

There are about two thousand religious organizations and 80 religious educational institutions in the KR. This rapid growth of religious organizations in the country raises fears of experts and sociologists, because many of them are of destructive nature that is a danger to society. There are also serious concerns of radical impact on the minds of young people, which is easy to recruit in terms of socio-economic decline of society.

The republic increases attention to the religious sphere and the question of unity and security. Yesterday Bishkek hosted a forum on "Islam and Christianity in the Kyrgyz Republic: tradition and modernity" with the participation of experts, religious leaders, observers, representatives of the Muslim Board and the Orthodox Church.

24.kg new agency asked its participants "How to close loopholes for destructive religious movements in Kyrgyzstan?". Here are the answers.

Ekaterina Ozmitel, expert, head of the Center for Religious Studies in Kyrgyzstan:

- Only by explanatory measures. As well as holding seminars on spiritual security in order young people know how to distinguish the true from the false and counter manipulation. After all, now under the guise of spiritual values another are presented - political. And, of course, the media's role here is invaluable. Positive images of traditional religions, promote family, patriotic, moral values of the people of Kyrgyzstan should be spread in the media, the Internet space and on TV. And warn of the possible consequences of involvement in religious organizations that use spiritual search of people by involving them in any commercial organizations and political parties.

His Grace Daniil, Bishop of Bishkek and Kyrgyzstan:

- This is primarily a work of traditional religions. Secondly, this is a public work, the laws and public policies directly in the religious sphere. This is primarily education, enlightenment of the people. The fact that people are moving away from traditional religions sects because of ignorance and misunderstanding about their real objectives. Last week, on November 6, we had a meeting with experts on sectarianism, who explained to us, who are Jehovah's Witnesses, Charismatics.

In the Orthodox Church we also begin a whole range within which seminars, meetings, working moments of sectarianism will be held. Gradually, people will get to know through the media, through the Internet, through communication with each other, who they are, and understand with this understanding will depart from such organizations. But it's a long process, it is impossible to solve in a short time, because everything we have was a specific policy when they were distributed, there was a freedom.

Ravshan aji Iratov, the deputy head of the Kyrgyz Muslim's Spiritual Directorate:

- Advocacy - the most effective method in the fight against extremism. Traditional religions, Islam and Christianity should play a special role in it.

It is noteworthy that in the KR we all become radical in defending our faith. We lack of tolerance towards other religions, movements. Everyone beats his chest and protects the foundations of religion, while downplaying the beliefs of others that confirm the relationship of Tengrism and Islamists representatives.

Zakir Chotayev, deputy director of the State Commission for Religious Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic:

- In the framework of the concept we have developed a slightly different conceptual apparatus, in official documents, we now don't say "sect", but speak about the destructive activities of some religious organizations. In particular, those organizations that are of potential threat to human rights, the destabilization of the socio-political situation, threatening the security of society or the state, we refer to the category of destructive. Because today they don't directly violate the law, nevertheless there is a potential threat. To counter them, we try to make a more detailed regulation under the laws, to determine where and when the places where such organizations can carry out their religious activities. We, for example, say that Kyrgyzstan provides for freedom of conscience and religion as long as it does not violate rights and freedoms of others. And in this connection it is necessary to set clear limits. The state regulates activity of religious organizations, but limits its intervention in the confessional activities except for the cases stipulated by the law of the Kyrgyz Republic. On the other hand, we say that we need to strictly prevent destructive and extremist activity that violates the law of the Kyrgyz Republic with the aim of preventing spread of radical and extremist acts in the country.

Ratbek Turusbekov, senior criminal investigatorcer for particularly important cases of the 10th Main Department of the Interior Ministry of the Kyrgyz Republic:

- Of course, we have to deal with this problem. However, we should learn from the experience and practices of combating extremism in other states. For example, here in the Republic of Uzbekistan, which introduced to counter tough measures against extremism. But manifestation of this nature in the society has not decreased, but vice versa. For example, all the religious extremist organizations, conducting activities on the territory of our country, mainly come from there. These are the same Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, "Hizb ut-Tahrir" political party, "Akramia" and so on. This is all the consequences of rigid measures. Such measures provide only short-term results, they do not give positive results in the long run.

Taalaibek Sagynov, the Director of Institute of Eurasian Studies Development Fund:

- There are laws governing religious activity in our country. And they simply need to follow very closely and therefore look out for new movements, because at this time there are a lot of different directions in Islam and Orthodoxy, as well as in other religions. There are all new sects, sometimes they even violate human norms. It still needs a very strict control by the state.

Islam and Christianity - the traditional religions in the Kyrgyz land. For centuries they coexisted, giving an example of tolerance, good neighborliness, mutual understanding and respect. And today, when we see worsening of interfaith, inter-ethnic and international relations, must understand that exactly Orthodoxy and Islam can be a spiritual basis for cohesion of the society.

Bakyt Murzuraimov, the Associate Professor of History, the Deputy Dean of Manas Kyrgyz-Turkish University:

- Every year in Kyrgyzstan, number of religious organizations and movements of a destructive nature, the so-called sects is increasing. To prevent sectarianism in Kyrgyzstan there is a need to raise religious awareness of the population. Schools and universities should give courses on history of religion, now the Ministry of Education undertakes attempts in this direction. I want to emphasize that there are movements that are engaged in commercial activities through religion, that is, people are involved into business by spiritual search. They are financed by international funds, in particular European and Asian ones.

Take the situation of sending our citizens to Syria. Considerable sums are allocated for recruitment and promotion. It is known that many people were prompted to change their religion in terms of material promises. Currently we ought to check the activities of all religious denominations, which are financed from outside, through international funds.

Muhammad-Sharif Sarashitdinov, the deputy imam of Mahmud Kashgari Mosque in Bishkek:

- As we can see from the practice, repressive measures do not lead to the desired results, there is pressure, and it causes a response reaction of resistance. What are the measures to fight it? We need to identify the primary causes, conduct research. Then we can win ailments. Without doubt, the role of traditional religions is very important here. Only those who are deeply versed in religion can build up interfaith relations. If people know nothing of religion, trying to regulate religious relations, they can cause at least ridicule from radicalized youth. Therefore have a role to play scientists who know the religion should be involved and properly explain the essence of religion and direct to the right way.

URL: http://eng.24.kg/perekrestok/173199-news24.html
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