Putin: Christianity a Major Positive Force For Centuries in Russia's Islamic South

Originally appeared at: TASS

Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent a message of greetings to participants, hosts and guests of an international forum on Christianity in the Caucasus marking the 1,100th anniversary of the Christianization of Alania, according to a telegram published on the Kremlin website on Saturday.

"Christianity was a powerful constructive and consolidating force for the peoples of ancient Alania that had a huge impact on the development of national script and habits and made a major contribution to the formation of high spiritual and moral ideals and values, which are carefully passed from generation to generation," Putin said in his telegram.

According to Putin, people of some 200 nationalities have inhabited Russia for centuries. "Their language and religion as well as economic structure have been our common property and have contributed to the cultural and ethnical diversity and true wealth of this country of which we are sincerely proud," the Russian leader emphasized.

The president said with confidence that the forum to be attended by prominent politicians, researchers, religious leaders and the media would be remembered for meaningful discussions and a fruitful exchange of opinions, while decisions to be taken in it would help preserve the country’s unique historical, cultural and spiritual heritage.

The decision to celebrate the 1,100th anniversary of Alania’s Christianization was made by Putin back in October 2017. During the key festivities on September 24-25, cultural and sporting events, festivals, exhibitions and master classes will be held for residents and guests of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania.

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