On 15-16 November, under the auspices of the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, the second international conference ‘Islam in a Modern Secular State’ took place in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
The purpose of the conference was to analyse Islam in relation to the state and to develop approaches to harmonise relations in Muslim communities, develop recommendations for improving the effectiveness of democratic governance in the religious sphere, and how to prevent radicalisation and spreading of extremist ideas.
The conference was attended by government officials, academics, and experts from international organisations such as the UN and OSCE. Twenty countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the US were represented at the event to discuss best practices in religious studies education, the coverage of religion in the media, and the role of religious women in modern society, among other relevant issues.
Chief Researcher at the DOC Research Institute, Alexey Malashenko, took part in the opening plenary session and moderated the panel on covering religious issues in the media. On the same panel, DOC Senior Researcher, Nikita Konopaltsev, presented a paper on values in the digital age and the cultural and religious aspects of dialogue in the 21st century.
Participants of the conference supported the initiative of the Kyrgyz Republic to promote international dialogue and express a common desire to achieve sustainable peace and stable development of national states, to find a balance between respect for human rights and freedom, including freedom of belief, and to ensure security for societies against extremism. The resulting resolution was adopted, calling for government bodies, public and religious institutions, and individuals to support international dialogue.