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Astana, Kazakhstan • 15 September, 2022 | 17:37

Pope Francis Quotes Abai in His Appeal to Religious Communities

The pontiff calls for investment in education at Congress of Religious Leaders

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Pope Francis referred to the works of the famous Kazakh poet Abai Kunanbaiuly during his speech at the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions today, QazMonitor reports.

During his meeting with President Tokayev, the Head of the Catholic Church remarked that he had borrowed the symbol of the dombyra to discuss the teachings of Abai and highlight the spiritual value of the poet’s works.

Abai reminds us that love and justice are the beginning of humanity. Violence must not be justified in any way. ... Meetings, dialogue, and patient negotiation, which we carry out with special concern for the children, for the younger generations, are the means that are worthy of man. … Abai called for the expansion of knowledge, to go beyond one's own culture, and to embrace the learning, history, and literature of others. Please, let us invest in education, not weapons.

Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church

In his speech, the Pope said that poverty poses the greatest risk to humanity. He placed special emphasis on the state of the world in recent years, stressing the continuous conflicts where with parties were unable to reach out to one another for peaceful negotiation.

The pontiff called for the religious communities to unite against poverty with a quote from Abai: “Can those who starve maintain a clear mind and exhibit diligence in learning?"

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