Since the annexation of Crimea by Russia over two thousand Crimean Tartars-Muslims left the peninsula and settled in Lviv. In view of this situation, a Muslim community of Lviv is facing many new challenges such as housing, job opportunities, place for gatherings and prayer.Libertas Center for interreligious dialogue organized the second interfaith Roundtable at the Lviv City Council where Muslim and Christian authorities could address some of the pressing issues.
The event gathered over fifty participants, representing various religious organizations, OSCE monitoring agents, NGO representatives and the City Council’s deputes. Among the speakers there were the grand mufti of Ukraine, sheikh Said Ismagilov, Mr. Arsen Zhumadilov, representative of Mustafa Dzhemilov who represents Crimean Tartars, and Mr. Ernest Abkeljamov, head of the “Ichsan” Muslim religious organization. His Excellency Bishop Dymytriy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, Mr. Myroslav Marynocych, vice rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University and Rev. Tikhon Kulbaka, head of the ecumenical commission of the Donetsk Exarchate of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church represented the Christian side.
Symbolically, the Roundtable was held on the International Day of Human Rights. The participants had a chance to watch a short video about what local people in Lviv know about the Crimean Tartars. The video was prepared by the members of the Protestant community of Lviv. At the end of the Roundtable the participants read a common prayer together.
It is a great honor for our city to host this important interfaith event. I am sure it will show that Ukrainians stand together in face of crisis and war. We all can give an example of being a city open to dialogue with the other. The many challenges which are before us today will be better faced if we are all united and firm in our respect and tolerance to each other.
Andriy SADOVYY, Lviv City Mayor