SHANGHAI, October 30. /TASS/. Russia hopes to take religious interaction with China to the level similar to the one that currently exists in cooperation between the two countries in general, head of the Federal Agency for Nationality Affairs Igor Barinov said on Wednesday at a meeting with Guo Weiping, Vice Director of China’s State Ethnic Affairs Commission, in Shanghai.
"The overwhelming majority of Russian citizens profess Orthodox Christianity. It was good to know that Shanghai’s authorities gave our fellow countrymen the building of the former Orthodox metropolitan cathedral in Shanghai for Easter services. That was a very good signal, and I believe that this experience deserves attention and development. It would be good if religious cooperation reached the general level of interaction between Russia and China," he said pointing to the need to give a fresh impetus to these efforts.
Referring to bilateral cooperation in other areas, Barinov highlighted the need to focus on sharing expertise in interethnic and inter-religious relations and efforts to prevent religious and ethnic extremism. According to Barinov, China could also be interested in Russia’s experience in sociological studies.
"Our scope of activity, that is, the implementation of national policy, efforts aimed at strengthening interethnic peace and harmony, is one of the most relevant areas of international cooperation today. This is also due to globally recognized trends, the growth and active dissemination of radical religious ideas as well as powerful and poorly managed migration processes. In these circumstances, our countries are coping with these challenges fairly successfully. However, they can establish a closer dialogue not only to share experience but also to work jointly to prevent ethnic and religious extremism," Barinov said.