The world meeting for peace in Sarajevo

2012-02-16 L’Osservatore Romano

Rome, 15. Twenty years after the dramatic siege of Sarajevo, the Community of Sant’Egidio and the Archdiocese of Vrhbosna, where Sarajevo is located, are sponsoring a world meeting for peace entitled “People and Religions” which will take place in the Bosnian city from 9 to 11 September.

The event was presented on Tuesday morning in the presence of Cardinal Vinko Puljić, Archbishop of Vrhbosna and of the President of the Community of Sant’Egidio, Marco Impagliazzo.

“Sarajevo, Jerusalem of Europe, city symbol and martyr of a fratricidal war which 20 years ago caused the death of 11,000 people, many of which were children,” stated the Cardinal, “is presented today as a paradigm of the cohabitation of the peoples for Europe”.

The leaders of many of the main religions, exponents of the political and cultural world and other various representatives of government will participate in this initiative, which will be carried out in cooperation with all religious, political and cultural bodies of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Focusing on the difficult situation of the country and the presence of Catholics, the Cardinal stated, “Forty percent of the population is unemployed and young people are forced to leave. The Croatian Catholic minority in Sarajevo, a mostly Muslim city,  represents nearly 8 percent of the population. Before the war there were 820,000 Catholics in Bosnia and Herzegovina, today however there are 440,000, nearly half”.

“I hope”, the Cardinal concluded, “that this meeting can help to create a positive atmosphere for the future of this country”.