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7th June 2011
The President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych has met with former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Tony Blair. At the meeting they discussed religious tolerance in Ukraine and in the world.
“I believe the mission you have come on is very important for Ukraine,” he said addressing Tony Blair. “Religious tolerance is something that not only Ukraine, but the whole world needs now.”
President Yanukovych also said he was pleased that it is Tony Blair, “the person enjoying great respect in Europe and worldwide, is working in that area.”
In turn, Tony Blair stressed the importance of the subject too. “I can say that the issue of religion in the world is now seen as one of the most important,” he said.
In the picture below Tony Blair is surrounded by people attending an event in Ukraine yesterday where he announced the introduction of two courses on religious understanding (source.)
Tony Blair announces new education projects in Ukraine (Source – Tony Blair Faith Foundation)
Tony Blair Faith Foundation announced today new programs to increase religious understanding for Ukraine’s next generation with the support of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation.
The Tony Blair Faith Foundation and the Victor Pinchuk Foundation were happy to announce that they plan to introduce two programs in Ukraine to enrich religious literacy of high school students and the understanding of religion in a globalised world among students of higher educational institutions.
The initiatives were announced by Founder and Patron of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, and former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair in Ukraine on June 6, 2011. He talked about faith and globalization in a speech given to 250 students from all over Ukraine. Mr. Blair is visiting Ukraine upon the invitation of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation.
“Faith is vitally important to hundreds of millions of people,” said Tony Blair. “The values of respect, justice and compassion that our great religions share have never been more relevant or important to bring people together to build a better world. But religious faith can also be used to divide – it can be distorted to fan the flames of hatred and extremism.”
This is why understanding about and between different religions is essential in a globalized world, said Blair.
“Through our work, with Ukrainian partner schools and Tony Blair and Victor Pinchuk at the Pinchuk Arts Centre universities, we will contribute to the emergence of a cohort of Ukrainian young people and students who are actively forging better relationships across religious and cultural divides, and critically analysing the role and influence of religion in today’s modern world. We are grateful to the Victor Pinchuk Foundation for their support, and look forward to a close cooperation with the Ukrainian government and educational system to further these aims.”
Victor Pinchuk said: “I am happy to support a program focused on the next generation, the core target group of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation’s work. We want to prepare them to develop the skills to bridge divides between faiths and cultures, develop a global outlook, and make diversity an asset.” He added: “I am confident that this project will contribute to further supporting the development of Ukraine as a country of true religious tolerance not only on the level of legal rules but based on true knowledge, understanding and respect for others’ faiths. Ukraine has known long periods of peaceful living together of different faiths, this is what we need to build on, foster, and share with others.”
The Tony Blair Faith Foundation’s international schools initiative, Face to Faith, aims to develop with Ukrainian school teachers a program to connect high school students with their peers in 17 countries via educational modules and the use of video-conferencing technology. Its Faith and Globalization initiative will work with Ukrainian higher education institutions to develop an academic discipline of studying faith in the modern world and which can be applied to business, politics and civil society.
Geert Wilders final remarks at his trial said, “I am here because of what I have said. I am here for having spoken. I have spoken, I speak and I shall continue to speak. Many have kept silent, but not Pim Fortuyn, not Theo Van Gogh, and not I.”
Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here
I am staggered by all the hate directed towards our former Prime Minister. I believe that Tony Blair made the Iraq decision in good faith and is most certainly NOT a war criminal. If anyone should be tried at the Hague it should be those in the media for totally misrepresenting the information and facts. The media are to blame for fuelling this hatred as it is purely driven by them. (UK)
Tags: business, compassion, extremism, Face to Faith, faith and globalization, former British Prime Minister, geert wilders trial, hatred, history, justice, labour party, politics and civil society, President Yanukovych, prime minister, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, religions, religious, respect, Tony Blair, Tony Blair Faith Foundation, ukraine, Values, Victor Pinchuk Foundation