The meeting between the chairman and the delegation members of the State Agency for Religious Issues and the head of the Department of Non-Jewish Religious Affairs of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Israel was interesting for both sides.
Israel is a country where religion is particularly sensitive. Given that the holy land is a homeland of religions and representatives of different religions have holy places there. That’s why according to the MIA representative IakovSalame while solving the problem cultural, religious, ethnic and other factors are taken into account.
Following the information about the status of religions in Georgia provided by the chairman of the agency Zaza VashakmadzeMr. Salame noted that in Israel too great attention is paid to dialogue and establishing good relations between religions.
The state helps the construction/restoration of their religious buildings, the Department of Non-Jewish Religious Affairs of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Israel for religious leaders invited professors from the University of the relevant field for lecture courses; work on interreligious bachelor’s degree is being worked out; for schools a guide for raising tolerant culture has been created; the department issues religious visas – workvisas for clerics, and also helps confessions to communicate with their parish in those countries with which Israel has no diplomatic relations (e.g. Palestine and Jordan); the department actively participated in the restoration process of Church of the Holy Sepulchre; also they actively cooperated in terms of order and safety during the holy fire; at the department there is a Council of Religions which implements the projects to support religious tolerance and is exemplary for the parish. Within the framework of this council the department takes religious leaders to different places to enhance mutual tolerance and dialogue (hospitals, orphanage etc.)
At the end of the meeting the participants expressed their willingness to introduce Religious Council of Israel with the Interreligious Council of Georgia and to get acquainted with each other’s activities and to be promoted such relations by the states.