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September 10 2012

MÆLEN KVARME, BISHOP OF OSLO: «ONE YEAR AFTER THE MASSACRE, NOT ONLY GRIEF BUT ALSO A NEW SOLIDARITY. NORWAY HAS TO LEARN HOW TO LIVE TOGETHER»

 
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In Sarajevo, town wounded by hatred, the memory of the "worst act of violence in Norway since World War II." During the International Meeting "LIVING TOGETHER IS THE FUTURE" organized by the Community of Sant'Egidio in the Bosnian town, the Panel "Education,Living Together, Peace" Ole Christian Mælen Kvarme, Lutheran Bishop of Oslo, recalls the massacre on Utøya island in July 2011, but most of all the response of Norwegian population, primarily young people: "In the midst of our mourning there was a deep sense of a newfound togetherness,a massive demonstration that our response should not be hatred, but charity and togetherness". For this reason, in a society where violence seems to be constantly growing - in Europe, Latin America, all over the world - the answer has to come through education. "To build a peaceful society and educate both children and grown-ups for peace - continued Kvarme - we do need a fair and human judicial system and we need transparent communities with open debate. But open debate is not enough: the youth who took to the streets with flowers in their hands and lighting candles expressed a precise question: not hatred, but love, not enmity, but living together."
Oslo, the Nobel Peace Prize town, shakes one year after those terrible events: "what happened last year - explains the bishop - was an attack to the coexistence of people of different cultures and religions. Today we remember the pain of those days, but also the outstretched hands and our experience of unity. We have to start again from education to peace."


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