Committee on Religious Affairs
Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan
The Committee for Religious Affairs under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan is an organ of state administration empowered to solve problems in the field of ensuring the rights of everyone to freedom of conscience and religion, equality of citizens regardless of their attitude to religion, as well as regulation of relations related to the activities of religious organizations, which was established in accordance with the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan "On the formation of the Committee on Religious Affairs under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan" of March 7, 1 992 years.
The Committee for Religious Affairs is guided in its activities by the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan, by decrees and other acts of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, decrees, resolutions and orders of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, resolutions and orders of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and its Regulations.
The Committee for Religious Affairs carries out its activities in cooperation with other state authorities, local government bodies, public associations and other organizations.
The main tasks of the Committee on Religious Affairs are:
- Holding together with the state authorities on the ground a single policy in resolving religious issues in accordance with the legislation on freedom of conscience and religious organizations;
- maintenance of interrelation and cooperation of state bodies with the religious organizations located in territory of republic;
- reflection in the policy of the state of interests of religious organizations that have been registered in accordance with the procedure established by law.
To fulfill the tasks assigned to it, the Committee for Religious Affairs has the following functions:
- Coordinates the relationship between government agencies and religious organizations and monitors the implementation of legislation on freedom of conscience and religious organizations;
- conducts work on religious issues in relations with religious organizations, as well as with foreign religious organizations;
- Provides, at the request of religious organizations, assistance in their interrelations with state bodies and necessary assistance on issues requiring decisions;
- conducts a policy of strengthening mutual understanding and tolerance between religious organizations and their members, carries out organizational work in this area;
- participates on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan in drafting normative and legal documents on freedom of conscience and the activities of religious organizations;
- Organizes, in accordance with the established procedure, the licensing of the activities of religious educational institutions, monitoring the compliance of licensees with licensing requirements and conditions, maintains a register of licenses;
- organizes the establishment of links between religious organizations within the republic and abroad;
- organizes visits by citizens of the Republic of Uzbekistan to holy places outside the country, including Hajj and Umrah, sending citizens abroad for training in religious educational institutions, raising qualifications and exchanging experience, receiving foreign citizens for studies, holding international forums;
- provides information collection about religious organizations and publishing houses publishing religious literature in the Republic of Uzbekistan;
- Examines the output of religious products produced in the republic or coming from abroad (printed and electronic publications, audio-video cassettes, CD-, DVD- and other disks) and coordinates this activity.
Activities of the Committee for Religious Affairs under the Cabinet of Ministers
The Republic of Uzbekistan
To develop a culture of interfaith communication, the Committee for Religious Affairs has set up a public council for religious affairs, which includes leaders of the most representative religious confessions in the republic.
Accommodation on the territory of the Republic of representatives of more than 130 nations and nationalities, as well as their belonging to 16 different religious denominations raises the sphere of religion to an increasingly high level of attention on the part of the state and government.
Legislation of an independent state - the Republic of Uzbekistan has created a solid legal foundation that meets the requirements of international legal norms.
Uzbekistan pays special attention to the existence of rights and freedom of speech and religion of citizens, which is especially emphasized in the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, freedom to receive religious education, charitable activities, the organization of pilgrimages, to strengthen cooperation and peaceful coexistence of representatives of all religious faiths who have equal rights and equal before law.
During the years of independence more than 90 thousand citizens of the Republic of Uzbekistan were given the opportunity to make pilgrimage to Hajj to Saudi Arabia and more than 1500 pilgrims to Russia, Greece and Israel, to holy places for Christians and Jews. From the state to the pilgrims there is all-round assistance - the organization of special air raids, the provision of medical services, the free conversion of foreign currency, the quick and unhindered processing of visa documents.
In the republic, the Koran, 16 books of the Old Testament and the entire New Testament have been translated into Uzbek.
Hundreds of mosques, churches and prayer houses were built and restored, including Orthodox churches in Tashkent, Samarkand and Navoi, a Catholic church in Tashkent, and the Armenian Apostolic Church in Samarkand.
At present, the Office of Muslims of Uzbekistan, Kaziyat of Muslims of Karakalpakstan, the Tashkent Islamic Institute, 9 madrassas and 2038 mosques are functioning on the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The Muslim Board of Uzbekistan is a republican body of governance of Muslim organizations that engages in the spiritual unification of all Muslims, providing spiritual support and charity to all citizens of the republic.
The Muslim Board of Uzbekistan carries out activities to provide all possible conditions for citizens to freely send Islamic rites, to strengthen the unity and cohesion of Muslims, to develop and establish mutually beneficial interfaith relations in the republic.
To educate and ensure the needs of religious organizations of the Republic, the Muslim Board of Uzbekistan opened the Tashkent Islamic Institute and the secondary special spiritual educational institutions - the Ministry.
The Muslim Board of Uzbekistan has its own printed organs - the newspaper Islom Nuri, which publishes twice a month and the monthly Khidoyat magazine, a special publishing house Maverannakhr operates.
158 religious organizations of 16 different faiths also operate on the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan, including Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, full Gospel, Adventist and other Christian churches, as well as religious communities of Bukhara and European Jews, Baha'is, Hare Krishnas and Buddhists. Also in Tashkent, one Orthodox and one Protestant seminary conduct their educational activities.
Due to the implementation of the policy of the Government of the Republic, based on the laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan, fully meeting the international standards, stability of the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan, interreligious and interethnic unity and respect for the rights and freedoms of the citizens' religion. The construction of mosques, churches and prayer houses, as well as their registration, is carried out in cooperation with local hokimiyats, self-governing bodies of citizens and judicial bodies of the republic. In the process of registration, the compliance of their Statutes with the current legislation, the condition of buildings and premises intended for conducting services, their sanitary and fire-fighting conditions are examined in depth.