A group of conference delegates posing together in front of a banner for the Religion and Family Values Conference held in Mahachkala in 2024.

Members of the UNESCO Chair on Comparative Studies of Spiritual Traditions, their Specific Cultures, and Interreligious Dialogue were recently part of a conference entitled ‘Promoting Traditional Family Values in Age of Globalization: Religious Viewpoints’, which was held in Mahachkala, in the South of Russia.

Mahachkala is the capital of the Republic of Daghestan, with a diverse population, the majority of which are Sunni Muslims, with minorities, including Shiite Muslims, Russian Orthodox Christians, and Judaists (Mountain Jewish people) playing an important role.

The conference was supported by a number of state authorities, both Federal and Republican, as well as the State University of Daghestan, and a number of religious organisations.

Three fellows of the UNESCO Chair served as plenary speakers:

  • Professor Ms. A. Buttaieva spoke on the ‘Peculiarities of Practicing Islam in Daghestani Families (Traditions and Innovations)’
  • Scientific Consultant Mr. Sh. Kashaf provided a report on ‘Participatory Projects of Muftiiyats of Northern Caucasus and of Ural-Volga Region in New Regions of Russia: Religious Axiological Foundations and Practices of Social Interaction’
  • Chairperson of the Chair’s Affiliation in Northern Caucasus, Professor Ms. G. Seidova, spoke on ‘Traditional Family Values and Globalization’.

All speakers provided information concerning present-day ideas and strategies of UNESCO, which was met most enthusiastically by the audience.