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Greetings to participants and guests at the Assembly of Muslims in Shiny Bolgar

June 18, 2011

Dmitry Medvedev sent greetings to the participants and guests at the Assembly of Muslims in Shiny Bolgar (Izge Bolgar zhyeny), devoted to the Day of Conversion to Islam of Volga Bulgaria.

The message reads, in part:

”This historic event took place over a thousand years ago and laid the foundations of the religious traditions of many peoples in our country, introducing them to the world's spiritual heritage. It provided a powerful impetus to the development of education and culture, united people through humanistic values shared by world religions. For centuries the ideals of tolerance, mutual respect and neighbourliness have strengthened our country and helped form a united Russian nation.

In today's Russia, where millions of Muslims live, much is being done to open new mosques, restore Islamic monuments, and develop religious education. And we highly appreciate the contribution of representatives of traditional Islam to promoting civil peace and interethnic harmony in our society.“

The state of Volga Bulgaria existed in the tenth to thirteenth centuries around the confluence of the Volga and Kama rivers.

June 18, 2011