In Kazakhstan, Lutheran World Leader Urges End to Islamophobia

July 2, 2009

Author: Anli Serfontein

Source: Ecumenical News International

Renounce Islamophobia, the general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, the Rev. Ishmael Noko, has urged world religious leaders at an inter religious congress in Kazakhstan.

Noko, a Zimbabwean, commended U.S. President Barack Obama for reaching out to Muslim communities and moving away from the language of the "war against terror".

"President Obama's overtures, while addressed to the Muslim world, also challenge other religious communities to reject Islamophobia," said Noko in the Kazakhstan capital.

He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Third Congress of leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Astana, Kazakhstan, on 1 July. The two-day event was attended by leaders of the world's main religions.

It included 77 delegations from 35 countries. The congress adopted an appeal calling on religious and political leaders, public figures and the mass media to "counteract the manipulation of religions or religious differences for political ends so as to preserve the unity of the society in the respect for legitimate diversity".