|Statement of Shared Moral
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 BosniaHerzegovina,
have decided to issue the following common statement.
1. All the 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
2. We recognise 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 recognise
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, co-operation and free common living in the entire territory of
3. Each of our traditional
churches and religious communities recognises 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;
· The desecration
of religious buildings, and the destruction of graveyards;
· The expulsion of
people from their homes;
· The obstruction
of the free right of return to their homes;
· Acts of revenge;
· the 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.
Sarajevo, 8 February 2000
The Albanian and Serbian
versions are translations of the English original
Mufti and President of
Bishop of Raska-Prizren
Serbian Orthodox Church
|Msgr. Marko Sopi
Bishop of Prizren
Roman Catholic Church of
of Kosovo - Press Statement
We, as the responsible religious
leaders in Kosovo, express our deepest gratitude for the visit of our brother
religious leaders from Bosnia-Herzegovina to Kosovo on 11-13 April 2000,
which followed our visit to Sarajevo from 7-9 February. Appreciating their
experiences we have made the decision in Pristina today on 13 April, to
establish The lnterreligious Council of Kosovo.
During the three days of
the visit of the Interreligious Council of BiH, we together visited imnportant
sites for each of our communities in Peja/Pec, Decani, Prizren, Gracanica
and Pristina. This tour has allowed our guests to see the reality of Kosovo
both the good and the bad.,
We have used the occasion
of their visit to build on the very positive steps we took in Sarajevo
when we signed our "Statement of Shared Moral Commitment." Our discussions
today have focused on how we as the religious leaders in Kosovo can take
concrete steps together to work for a better future for all people of Kosovo.
To this end, we express our common agreement on the following points:
1. With one united voice
we once again strongly condemn all acts of violence and all violations
of basic human rights. The acts that have happened and that continue to
happen against innocent persons are evil and cannot be condoned in any
way by any of our respective religious traditions.
2. We commit ourselves today
to pursue mote active cooperation as religious leaders and among our communities.
We will work to develop our own structures and means for cooperation through
tile, Interreligious Council of Kosovo. In addition we are encouraged
by the fact that we will all be participating in the Kosovo Transitional
Council and look forward to using that venue to further our work together.
3. Together we support the
building of strong local democratic institutions; that will continue to
ensure security, peace, and wellbeing for all inhabitants of Kosovo.
We look, to the international community to provide the necessary support
for the inhabitants of Kosovo to achieve this goal.
4. We commit ourselves to
work together to rebuild the many destroyed and damaged religious buildings
in Kosovo, and we appeal to our friends and partners in serious international
agencies to assist us with the necessary resources to accomplish this essential
5. Finally, we appeal to
the international community to work harder on finding and resolving the
Situation of all the prisoners, missing and abducted persons whose unknown
fate remains as one of the deepest wounds of our recent tragic conflicts.
Once again, we thank our
distinguished guests from Bosnia-Herzegovina for their visit and their
encouragement, as well as the World Conference on Religion and Peace (.WCRP)
for its support and its continued commitment to assist us in-this process.
We look forward to continuing with our close, brotherly relations and with
God's help we will be able to work together to build a stronger future
for all people in our blessed land.
19 April 2000