bosnia report
New Series No. 15/16 March - June 2000
 
Statement of shared moral commitment
by Sarajevo, 8 February 2000

We religious leaders of the traditional religious communities of Kosovo, the Islamic Community, the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, concerned about the slow and inefficient implementation of the Kosovo peace plan, on the occasion of our working visit with the Interreligious Council of Bosnia-Herzegovina, have decided to issue the following common statement:

  1. All peoples in Kosovo have undergone enormous suffering. Thanks be to God that the war has ended, but unfortunately there continues to be insecurity and violence. Our task now is to establish a durable peace based on truth, justice and common living.

  2. We recognize and accept that our religious communities differ from each other, and that each of them feels called to live true to its own faith. At the same time we recognize that our religious and spiritual traditions hold many values in common, and that these shared values can serve as an authentic basis for mutual esteem, cooperation and free common living on the entire territory of Kosovo.

  3. Each of our traditional churches and religious communities recognizes and proclaims that the dignity of man and human value is a gift of God. Our faiths, each in its own way, call us to respect the fundamental human rights of each person. Violence against persons or the violation of their basic rights are for us not only against man-made laws but also breaking God's law.

  4. We jointly, in mutual recognition of our religious differences, condemn all violence against innocent persons and any form of abuse or violation of fundamental human rights, and specifically, we condemn:

    • acts of hatred based on ethnicity or religious differences;

    • desecration of religious buildings and destruction of graveyards;

    • expulsion of people from their homes;

    • obstruction of the free right of return to their homes;

    • acts of revenge;

    • abuse of the media with the aim of spreading hatred.

  5. Finally, we call on all people of good will to take responsibility for their own acts. Let us treat others as we would wish them to treat us.

  6. With this Statement we appeal to all of our believers in Kosovo, local authorities and representatives of the international community in Kosovo.

Signatories

Dr Rexhep Boja Mufti and President of the Islamic Community of Kosova
H.E. Dr Artemije Radosavljevic Bishop of Raska and Prizren, Serbian Orthodox Church
H.E. Marko Sopi Bishop of Prizren, Roman Catholic Church

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