"Common Statement for peace in Bosnia".
On Thursday, June 7th, at 8.30 pm, in the basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere a prayer for peace in Bosnia was held at the presence of several religious representatives of the area. The following day they met, hosted by the Community of Sant’Egidio, to face the issues of coexistence and collaboration among believers. At the end of the meeting they underwrote a common statement.
We, the representatives of the four faiths of Bosnia Herzegovina, Muslim, Orthodox, Catholics and Jews, gathered in Rome, in the spirit of the previous declarations of the Interreligious Council of Bosnia Herzegovina, would like to express our gratitude to the Community of Sant’Egidio for having organized and favoured this meeting, and we declare:
We commend the great efforts that are presently undertaken by the international community for the reconstruction of Bosnia Herzegovina.
We believe that such an important task should be matched by an at least as great effort to favour the human, moral and cultural reconstruction of the country and of all its inhabitants.
Bosnia Herzegovina is a central part within the European mosaic, and it represents a decisive test for the European society of the future; a society that will necessarily be pluralistic and multicultural.
As people of faith, we gathered in Sant’Egidio,convinced that all religions can help the human reconstruction in Bosnia Herzegovina.
Religions are at the heart of the identity of all people in Bosnia Herzegovina.
The message of all religions is the message of peace and of peaceful coexistence among all human beings.
We love peace as much as we love our Home Land and our peoples.
Dialogue , collaboration, coexistence among believers of different faiths do not arise from the suppression of the differences in identities but, on the contrary they proceed from the deepening of every single religious tradition because we are all creatures of the One God.
This is why, gathered in Rome, we feel the need to undertake common initiatives, in the name of the fundamental concord of the believers in the One God, so to bring our people near to one another and to strengthen coexistence in Bosnia Herzegovina.
Therefore it is important to focus on the young generations, on the possibility of their access to instruction and education to peace.
At the same time we cannot avoid to underline the suffering situation of the refugees who are not yet reinserted in their places of origin.
For these reasons and to help the human and moral reconstruction of Bosnia Herzegovina, we launch an appeal to the industrialized countries of the world that will gather in a few days here in Italy, in Genoa within the framework of the G8 Meeting, so that they undertake concrete and consistent commitments in favour of the reconstruction of the religious places and of the structures, that are under the authority of the various religious communities of Bosnia Herzegovina, that are still destroyed or damaged because of the war.
We thus ask that a plan be defined for the reconstruction and the restoration of religious buildings such as churches, mosques and synagogues, but also monasteries, oratories, cemeteries, seminars and educational places that depend from religious structure so enable us to fulfil the role of education to peace and to faith.
We finally thank the Community of Sant’Egidio that, faithful to its service to peace and inter-religious dialogue, has been engaged and continues to be engaged in Bosnia Herzegovina and in the Balkans for the bringing together of peoples and for the growth of concord between religious communities, and that has facilitated the realization of the present meeting.
Rome, June 8th 2001