The delegation from the China Taoist Association attended the 21st meeting of the Secretariat of the World and Traditional Religious Leaders Congress in Kazakhstan
On October 11, 2023, the 21st meeting of the Secretariat of the World and Traditional Religious Leaders Congress was held in the capital city of Astana, Kazakhstan. Li Xinjun, the Jianyuan of Beijing Baiyun Temple, which is directly affiliated with the China Taoist Association, along with representatives from more than 20 countries, including Buddhism, Islam, Catholicism, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Shintoism, as well as representatives from various international organizations, attended the conference.
President Tokayev of Kazakhstan sent a congratulatory message to the congress. Maulen Ashimbayev, the Chairman of the Senate of Kazakhstan (the upper house of parliament), attended the meeting on behalf of President Tokayev and presented the World and Traditional Religious Leaders Congress Honorary Medal. Delegates engaged in enthusiastic discussions and speeches regarding how to promote and achieve the “7th World and Traditional Religious Leaders Congress Declaration.” The congress unanimously approved the “Development Plan for the World Religious Leaders Congress 2023-2033” and decided to hold the 22nd meeting of the Secretariat of the World and Traditional Religious Leaders Congress in Astana in the following autumn.
Li Xinjun, representing the Taoist community, delivered the keynote address. He used vivid examples from Taoist teachings, such as the story of the deity Qiu Chuji and advising Genghis Khan on saving lives from disasters, to explain Taoist principles of universal love, fostering harmony among diverse groups, promoting peace, opposing war, and cherishing life. He advocated for humanity to let go of egocentric attachments and biased perspectives, encouraging people to follow the Dao, cultivate purity, and guide others through non-interference. He called for collective efforts to promote cultural exchange and mutual understanding, ultimately building a shared human destiny.
After the congress, the delegation held in-depth discussions with Brat Sarsembayev, the Chairman of the Board of the Nazarbayev Center for Interfaith and Intercivilizational Dialogue, leading to an agreement on enhancing religious and cultural exchanges and cooperation between China and Kazakhstan.
Relevant members of the China Religious and Cultural Exchange Association and Vice Secretary-General Buddhist Master Pu Zheng of the Chinese Buddhist Association were also invited to attend the above-mentioned activities.
Translated and edited by Fan Xin Rui
Original Text & photos by Taoist Association of China