December 14, 2017
THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR OF PEACE AND STABILITY IN THE COUNTRY
For many centuries, on our ancient and fertile land, representatives of various ethnic groups, cultures and religions live in peace and harmony. Hospitality, kindness, generosity of the soul and genuine tolerance were always inherent in the Uzbek people and became the basis of its mentality.
The years of independence in Uzbekistan have opened a new stage in interethnic relations. One of the most important priorities of state policy in the country is the development of a culture of tolerance and humanism, the strengthening of civil understanding and harmony, the upbringing of the younger generation in the spirit of love and devotion to the Motherland. And all this is fully realized.
In Uzbekistan, there are more than 2,000 religious organizations belonging to 16 different faiths. 158 Christian organizations, 8 Jewish communities, 6 Bahai communities, the Hare Krishna community and the Buddhist temple operate in the Republic of Uzbekistan, 174 non-Islamic organizations in total.
A respectful attitude to the languages, customs and traditions of all nations and nationalities living on the territory of our country is ensured, conditions are created for their development. Education is provided in 7 languages: Uzbek, Karakalpak, Kyrgyz, Russian, Kazakh, Tajik, Turkmen. There are magazines that are published in 8 languages and newspapers in 10 languages.
Religious believers in Uzbekistan freely celebrate all religious holidays. So, from year to year, there is a wide celebration of Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr by Muslims, Easter and Christmas by Christians, Peysah, Purim and Hanukkah by the Jewish.
In addition, every year, with the full support of the republic's leadership, believers make a pilgrimage to holy places. Over the past years, more than 70,000 Muslims have been given the opportunity to perform hajj to Saudi Arabia, hundreds of Christians and Jews have visited Russia, Greece and Israel. For comparison: before the declaration of independence, an average of 3-4 people left Uzbekistan every year.
To increase the efficiency of the activities of about 140 national cultural centers in May of 2017 the Committee on Interethnic Relations and Friendly Relations with Foreign Countries was established under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Within the framework of the fifth direction of the Strategy of Actions on Further Development of Uzbekistan “Ensuring Security, Interethnic Concord and Religious Tolerance, and Implementing a Weighed, Mutually Beneficial and Constructive Foreign Policy” work is currently underway to draft the Concept of Priority Policy Directions in the Sphere of Interethnic Relations and the Concept of Public Policy in Religious Sphere.
For the purpose of comprehensive research of the rich cultural, scientific and spiritual heritage of our people, wide popularization of this heritage among the world community, profound revelation of the truly humanistic essence and the content of the religion of Islam, work has begun on the establishment of the Center for Islamic Civilization in Tashkent. The Center will collect extensive information about the great scientists and theologians, outstanding poets and writers, artists and calligraphers who have made an invaluable contribution to the development of world culture and Muslim civilization.
Along with this, to preserve and study the rich heritage of Imam Bukhari, disseminate his teachings on enlightened Islam, the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev decided to establish an international research center in Samarkand, which will bear the name of this outstanding muhaddis and theologian. Speaking at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in September of this year, the President of our country asked to adopt a special resolution entitled "Enlightenment and Religious Tolerance". The main goal is to provide universal access to education, eliminate illiteracy and ignorance.
The atmosphere of friendship and cohesion in Uzbekistan is an important factor of peace and stability, improving the efficiency of the reforms, and increasing the country's prestige in the international arena. During his visit to the republic in October 2017, Ahmed Shaheed, UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief noted that in Uzbekistan great results have been achieved in this direction. The places of worship of great scientists and thinkers who have made a great contribution to Islamic science and enlightenment are well-equipped, the citizens of the country and its guests freely make a pilgrimage to these shrines.
(The material was prepared on the basis of information from the National Center for Human Rights of the Republic of Uzbekistan)