Two-days conference about interreligious dialogue

In Sarajevo, on February 15th, a two-day conference entitled "The Importance of Strengthening the Inter-religious Dialogue at the Local Level in BiH" was opened. The conference aims to promote the message of peace and reconciliation of the Interreligious Council (MRV).

Two-days conference about interreligious dialogue

Success of the project, Strengthening Interreligious Dialogue in BiH (SID), were presented, results of strengthening the Network of the Inter-Religious Council in BiH were shown and best practices shared.

President of the MRV Assembly in BiH Huseyin ef. Smajić, deputy raisu-l-ulema of the Islamic Community in BiH, said at the opening that "all human beings naturally different in their religious beliefs, speech, behaviour, values, are entitled to live in peace and be as they are, without any discrimination."

"The society we want is open to diversity, at the same time witnessing what is common and close to all people who want to live in good and try to avoid any evil. MRV remains deeply committed to inter-religious dialogue for the purpose of building a functional and just society for all people", said at the opening ef. Smajić, stressing that the project "The Importance of Strengthening the Inter-religious Dialogue at the Local Level in BiH", is implemented by the MRV in partnership with CRS and through support of the Government of USA, "aimed at building a better social environment by reaching people in local communities, their daily lives, desires and everyday needs."

Saliha Đuderija, Assistant Minister at the BiH Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees, underlined the importance of the local community, "because everything is happening in the local community."

"It is important that dialogue should listen to the words of ordinary citizens, their feelings, their problems and their needs. They must be our constant inspiration. It is of crucial importance to us in BiH not only to send a message to our citizens, a message of reconciliation and lasting peace, but to truly show that we really work on these activities, regardless of differences and disagreements, and occasional tensions", said Đuderija.

Debra Shomberg, a representative of Catholic Relief Services in BiH, said this organization is a proud partner of the MRV on a continuous work to strengthen inter-religious dialogue in BiH, thanking the US Government for support.

"There is so much talent in BiH, this is a country with so many citizens who are positive, open and ready to connect and exchange. This bonding potential and positive processes should be recognized and nurtured", Homberg said.

Members of the MRV BiH Assembly, after the opening ceremony expressed their satisfaction with the results of the Project, especially with the fact that the inter-religious dialogue is transferred to the base - local community in which everything begins.

"I was especially impressed by the results in the field, in the cities around BiH, which is for every praise. That means that the projects are well designed and run, so we must continue in the future, to deal with young people, but also to send a message to the whole community", said the Metropolitan of Dabrobosna Hrizostom.

The Archbishop of Vrhbosna, Vinko cardinal Puljić said it was nice to hear information from the field. "We have received information and I am happy to have such results. It gives us the encouragement to continue to establish new committees, to support the existing ones to be even more effective and to work even more positive. I believe in the success of our committees on the field, and we will be backing them from the centre", said the Cardinal.

Jakob Finci, president of the Jewish Community of BiH, stressed that everything can be done when people agree.

"Simply put, this was a step forward in the further development and work of the MRV, which is not just a council in which religious community leaders sit, but people in the field, we have managed to win over the young people, women of faith, and see that it can be so , and we try to keep it going. We thank all those who give us help, but without good will amongst people, we could not achieve anything, and for this reason, our members of 15 interreligious committees deserve the greatest applause tonight", Finci said.

The conference aims to promote peace messages and reconciliation of the MRV to the general public, present the SID project's successes, to show the strengthening of the MRV network and share best practices.

Members and activists from 15 local committees for inter-religious cooperation, including religious officials from BiH, attend a conference where young people and women will promote activities implemented at board level through the SID project.

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