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Articles > News > Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin meets nuncio Giovanni D'Agnello

Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin meets nuncio Giovanni D'Agnello On 29 April 2021, Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin, Chairman of the Religious Board of Muslims of Russia and the Russian Muftis Council, met the Archbishop Giovanni D'Agnello, apostolic nuncio to Russia. The meeting was also attended by Damir Mukhetdinov (first deputy chairman), Ildar Nurimanov (deputy chairman and chief of staff) and Ravil Seifetdinov (deputy chairman for Internal Affairs).

Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin welcomed the guests and noted that the history of cooperation between the Religious Board of Muslims of the Russian Federation and the Apostolic Nunciature in Russia dated back many years and included holding conferences, publishing books and scientific cooperation. The religious leader of the Russian Muslims mentioned the international conference devoted to the 40th anniversary of the Nostra Aetate declaration, which was conducted in Moscow in 2005.

Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin also mentioned the joint presentation of a Russian translation of Pope Francis' encyclical "On Brotherhood and Social Friendship" published by Russian Muslims this March. The encyclical represents a follow-up to the Declaration on Human Fraternity signed in Abu Dhabi by Pope Francis and the Supreme Imam of Al-Azhar University, Ahmad al-Tayeb. The mufti emphasized the significance of joint efforts aimed at preparing and communicating the encyclical to representatives of different faiths in Russia.

"This shows the openness of the Religious Board of Muslims of the Russian Federation to cooperation. I hope our personal acquaintance and further cooperation will benefit our religious communities. The teachings of our religions and Pope Francis' words about brotherhood and social friendship also encourage us to do so," he said. According to Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin, Muslims in Russia and the Islamic world have great respect for Pope Francis.

Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin also spoke about the International Muslim Forum that brings together representatives of various religious traditions. He expressed a high opinion about Vatican's support for the forums held in London and Helsinki, as well as the participation of Vatican representatives in them. According to Mufti Gainutdin, the next goal is to hold the forum in the Italian capital: "Provided the epidemiological situation improves, we hope to hold the XVII International Muslim Forum in Rome with the support of the Roman Catholic Church"

Archbishop Giovanni d'Agnello thanked Mufti Gaynutdin for the warm welcome and expressed his full support for the Rome International Muslim Forum. He also expressed  his gratitude for the translation of the encyclical "Fratelli tutti" into Russian. The Apostolic Nuncio also congratulated Russian Muslims on the publication of books from the series "Renaissance and Renewal".

Speaking of the interfaith dialogue, the apostolic nuncio stressed the aspiration existing on both sides and added that it was necessary to conduct meetings both on a high level and on a less formal level, so that the participants could pass from conceptual friendship to personal one. He noted that such was the nature of friendship between peoples and human beings. He assured that he was always ready for dialogue and cooperation.

At the end of the meeting, Signor Giovanni d'Agnello expressed his hope for continued cooperation and invited Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin to meet him at his residence. The Nuncio also wished the Muslims of Russia a good continuation of the month of Ramadan and a joyful celebration of Eid al-Fitr. At the end of the event, Archbishop Giovanni was offered a guided tour of the Moscow Cathedral Mosque.

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