Experts discuss co-operation between Russia's security bodies and religious entities

A conference entitled "Fatherland. Army. Church" opened in the Culture Centre of the Russian Armed Forces on Tuesday.

The conferees will dwell on the problem of co-operation between the security agencies and religious entities, Yury Kvyatovsky, director of the centre, said when he was opening the conference.

He said co-operation between the army and Russia's major confessions fell in line with the country's national interests.

When addressing the conference, His Holiness Alexis II, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, said it was devoted to an important task of reviving and promoting the tradition of military-patriotic and moral education of Russian nationals.

Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna emphasised that the erroneous stereotype of the Russian state and the army being estranged from the church was vanishing.

The church promotes the spiritual revival of the army, society and state at large. The Moscow diocese, for example, works in 192 Defence and Interior Ministries units. To train a proper number of priests who will deal with servicemen is a crucial task facing the church today.

The forum is involving some 200 participants. They are officials from the president's administration, the Federal Assembly, the Cabinet's board, the Defence and Interior Ministries, the FSB border-guards service, the Federal Service of Railway Forces, the Emergencies Ministry, the Federal Bodyguards Service, the Justice Ministry, the Russian Orthodox Church, the Council of Russia's Muftis, traditional Buddha Singha of Russia, the Russian Congress of the Jewish Religious Organisations and Unions and the Union of CIS Rabbis.

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