Russian President vows to support Russian Buddhists

Zee News, August 24, 2009

Moscow, Russia -- President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday vowed to support the Russian Buddhists in reviving their traditions and spreading the preaching of Lord Buddha among its followers.

Medvedev, who became the second head of state in the country's history to visit the main Buddhist Ivolga Monastery in Siberian republic of Buryatia, was warmly welcomed by the spiritual leader of the Russian Buddhists Pandito Hambo Lama Damba Ayushev and his disciples.

A Christian by birth, Medvedev said, "All the traditional religions of Russia will be supported by the authorities in spite of financial difficulties."

Earlier, Medvedev had visited Moscow's Jama Masjid to meet with the Islamic leaders of the country.

"My visit to you is one more proof that the development of relations between the state and traditional faiths is on the right track," Medvedev said in his televised statement.

He said that his decision to introduce basic religious education in the schools and creation of posts of priests into the armed forces has been backed by all the religious communities.