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September 9 2012 | SARAJEVO, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

Riccardi: from Sarajevo comes the hope for a future civilization of co-existence

 
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Sarajevo extends along a narrow valley interrupted by a small but rapid flowing river. A calm city: it hardly seems possible that it was the epicenter of two terrible wars at the beginning and end of the last century: a world war and a  local war. Yet, as we all know, that is what happened.  As Andrea Riccardi, Italian minister for international cooperation and integration as well as the founder of the Community of Sant’Egidio, put it at the annual appointment for interfaith dialogue which opened today in Sarajevo with the theme “Living Together is the Future”, “the history of the twentieth century is marked by Sarajevo…and to talk about peace in this city acquires a challenging value”. A challenge that men and women of different religions will be accepting in these three days of meetings, aware that “faith teaches the meaning of the word of responsibility” and that “peace is the aspiration of their peoples as well as a gift of God”: As the judges who tried the assassins of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914 pointed out, the bullets that exploded on the banks of the river killed millions of men. The hope is that the words pronounced during the conference taking place just a few yards away from that spot may contribute to establish a future of co-existence and peace for the whole family of mankind. Andrea Riccardi concluded: “There is great value in the meetings between men and women of different religions. We must get ready to be spiritually close, because tomorrow there will be the civilization of living together”.


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