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15 Jul, 2009 13:52

Medvedev stresses Islam’s importance for Russia

Russia's religious life is a multi-confessional one and Islam is a faith with a vast influence. So President Dmitry Medvedev said during a meeting with leaders of Russian Muslim organizations.

The statement was made as Medvedev was paying a visit to the country's central Mosque in Moscow to see ongoing reconstruction work.

After being shown around the historical part of the mosque and a section under construction, Medvedev met with muftis.

Medvedev stressed the importance of Islam in the country's internal affairs.

”Russia is a multi-national and multi-confessional country. Russian Muslims have enough respect and influence. Muslim foundations are making an important contribution to promoting peace in society, providing spiritual and moral education for many people, as well as fighting extremism and xenophobia,” he said before adding:

“There are 182 ethnic groups living in Russia, and 57 of them claim Islam as their main religion. This figure speaks for itself.”

The president also stressed the importance for religious Muslim organizations to have their own system of training imams and teachers, and promised the government would continue to assist in this work.