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MGIMO Rector Anatoly Torkunov takes part in the presentation of a new book of then President of Kyrghyzstan Askar Akaev headlined "Thinking About the Future", September 13, 2004. The presentation was held in the Moscow Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.
Photo: Valery Melnikov
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Apr. 01, 2005
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Diplomats to Have Religious Training
Foreign Church Ties Department of the Moscow Patriarchy and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University) have agreed to cooperate. MGIMO students will study church diplomacy, while the clergy will improve their language skills, foreign countries and general political knowledge.
Start-up of relations between the foreign department of the Moscow Patriarchy and MGIMO dates back to 1996. The first fruits were creation of MGIMOs Church & International Relations Center in 1997 and attraction of MGIMOs lecturers as advisors when elaborating the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Concept was passed by the Pontifical Synod in 2000.

The above agreement is the logical development of cooperation between the so-called Church Ministry of Foreign Affairs Foreign Church Ties Department of the Moscow Patriarchy and the university, where future diplomats study. For MGIMO, the project is of great interest as the Russian Orthodox Church is well known for its wide connections with foreign religious institutions.

With the agreement signed, MGIMO graduates get real chances to undergo training in one of the foreign representations of the Russian Orthodox Church abroad, for instance, affiliated to one of the European international organizations in Brussels or to the Council of Europe, Yury Ryabykh, an aid to the head of the Foreign Church Ties Department of the Moscow Patriarchy, told Kommersant. Church diplomats may tell their laic counterparts not only about interreligious relations, but also about the role of religion in the policy of other countries, for instance, about strong interest in the Orthodoxy that could be noted today in the North Korea and Cuba, Ryabykh specified.

MGIMO Rector Anatoly Torkunov is certain the partnership of his university with the Foreign Church Ties Department will be advantageous. It must be understood that the church diplomacy is one of the most proficient diplomacies in the world, Torkunov pointed out to Kommersant. As to the Russian Orthodox Church, its diplomatic role in China and Korea used to be great, and we need to study that experience, Tokunov said, adding in general, the church will play a decisive part in the dialog of civilizations.
www.kommersant.com

All the Article in Russian as of Apr. 01, 2005

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