International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Bosnian religious leaders- Diversity is a wealth, faith calls for togetherness

February 12, 2024

Religious leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday called on the faithful to cherish diversity and treat it as a wealth rather than as a reason for conflicts, and to steadfastly build friendship with those that are different, with mutual respect.

The message was sent from a conference entitled ‘Members of parliament and religious leaders for peace and coexistence’, organised by the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Muslim World League.

Sarajevo Archbishop Tomo Vuksic was among those who delivered introductory speeches at the event, together with the leader of the Islamic Community in BiH, Husein Kavazovic, the Secretary-General of the Muslim World League, Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, the president of the BiH Jewish Community, Jakob Finci, and BiH Presidency Chairman Zeljko Komsic.

The Catholic Church leader in Bosnia and Herzegovina said that due to present-day migrations, diversity among nations has become a global phenomenon, present in almost every society, and that it should be recognised as an enriching wealth with which one should be in an open dialogue.

“This requires not only tolerance but an active friendly coexistence and mutual respect. According to Christian teachings, coexistence is not just tolerance, it is the ability to live in brotherhood with others who are different and to respect their identities,” Vuksic said, calling on all religious communities and their members to promote and build peace, unity and the common good.

The Roman Catholic dignitary also called for the protection of collective rights in BiH.

Reis Kavazovic called for an alliance of all true believers to gather around good and oppose ideologies based on intolerance and hatred.

“Our brotherhood in faith is inclusive, and for us, the source of differences, whether they concern race, language, religion, culture or tradition, is God's will and wisdom. To reject that diversity would mean to go against the word of God,” Kavazovic said, noting that differences in theological teachings should not be a reason for conflicts but rather encourage dialogue to solve problems.

Kavazovic also said that everything said during this event “has a special weight and importance due to the moment we are witnessing in the unprecedented catastrophe in Gaza, the holy land to all of us here.”

He also emphasised as essential the issue of the spreading of hatred, racism, islamophobia, antisemitism and other forms of the lack of trust among the people.

“This is the issue we will have to live with in the future, too. That is also the issue of our readiness for spiritual sacrifice to resist the scourge and to enable our communities to resist it,” he underlined.

Source:  https://n1info.ba/english/news/bosnian-religious-leaders-diversity-is-a-wealth-faith-calls-for-togetherness/

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