OSCE promotes freedom of religion in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan Materials 1 December 2011 14:03 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec.1 / Trend, V. Zhavoronkova/

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) promotes freedom of religion or belief in law and practice in Kyrgyzstan, the organization reports.

The OSCE Centre in Bishkek and the State Commission on Religious Affairs of Kyrgyzstan held a roundtable discussion in this regard on Thursday with the participation of state officials, religious leaders and civil society representatives.

The meeting discussed ways to improve the interaction among state bodies and religious and civil society organizations in Kyrgyzstan with a view to enhance the protection of freedom of religion or belief on the basis of mutual understanding and constructive dialogue.

The discussion also focused on the overall context in Kyrgyzstan, the potential for related policy reforms in line with applicable international human rights standards, and freedom of religion as a tool for conflict prevention.

"The freedom of individuals to hold and manifest their religious beliefs is one of the basic characteristics of a democratic society," Volker Jacoby, the Officer-in-Charge of the OSCE Centre in Bishkek, said. "State authorities play a crucial role in safeguarding this basic right of individuals and religious groups alike."