RUSSIAN NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST
A word of welcome
Allow me to present for your consideration some introductory material concerning an event annually organized in the Russian Federation that is national in its scale and moral in its character, that demonstrates unity of all people of faith, honor and duty and incorporates some of the best expressions of democratic ideals.
Today many people recognize the importance of affirming and disseminating a unified system of ethical values that will strengthen and spiritually mature the moral fiber of Russian society as well as promote a positive image of our country in the eyes of the international community. In light of that, I believe, there is a genuine need to create a new form of conducting a constructive dialog between political, civil and religious organizations of the Russian Federation and to use innovative approaches in building an international dialog. An event in the format of the “National Prayer Breakfast” (NPB) can become an effective instrument in solving these tasks.
Annual national prayer breakfasts are organized in many leading countries of the world. The first national prayer breakfast took place in 1953 in Washington D.C., USA. Since then it became momentous in significance and international in scale. NPB promotes mutual understanding, rooted in a unified system of moral values, and draws attention of numerous political, civil, business, cultural and religious leaders from over 160 countries of the world.
Participation of many distinguished public figures highlights the importance of this event for political, civil and religious life. Among participants of the 2010 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. was Prime Minister of Spain and Chairman of the European Union José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, in 2009 Prime Minister of Great Britain Tony Blair, in 1994 Mother Teresa and many others. However, NPB has special significance because of the participation of the president of the United States, hence it is also called the “Presidential prayer breakfast,” which was it's official name until 1970.
I am persuaded that the Russian National Prayer Breakfast, as a platform, where people will demonstrate amicable spirit, mutual respect and ethno-religious tolerance, will promote unity of the Russian people, its consolidation around a unified system of moral values shared by all people, and will make a significant contribution towards solving many pressing problems of a multi-national and multi-confessional Russian society.
Moreover, the National Prayer Breakfast possesses an immense potential for promotion a positive image of the Russian Federation as a state that values freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.
I am convinced that the goals of the proposed project completely correspond with the goals set by every person, who is concerned for Russia's future.
Peter N. Sautov