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100 years after the First World War, young Cristians and Muslims meet in Sarajevo

The conference organised by the Community of Sant'Egidio with the Catholic Archdiocese and the Grand Mufti of Sarajevo

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100 years have passed since the outbreak of the First World War, which began with the assassination of Sarajevo in 1914. A century away from here a voice of peace stands up, so that war has no more place in history. They are young people, Christians and Muslims, that have decided to commit themselves to peace and dialogue. A commitment made yesterday during the meeting "Living Together is the Future" together with the Community of Sant'Egidio, represented by Alberto Quattrucci, who received the honorary citizenship of Sarajevo last year (read the news>>), Cardinal Vinko Puljic, Archbishop of Sarajevo, and Rais-ul-ulama Husein Kavazovic.

"Our meeting today talks about peace - said Alberto Quattrucci addressing young people - This is not a philosophical lesson on the theme of peace. We want to talk about the importance of peace for the world where we live. My proposal: let us open our eyes and hearts and we will discover close to us and far from us, we will discover so many questions, so much need of peace among the people. How much need of peace there is, in every land in the world! There are countries that have lived at war for so many years - think of countries in Africa or the Middle East, or think of the tragedy of Syria in more recent times - and we are almost used to regarding war as a phenomenon "linked" to some countries ... but it is not so, history may change, history has to change, because there is a great desire for peace!”.

History has to change, and religion plays a crucial role in building peace. Cardinal Puljic has insisted on this: "Sant'Egidio continues to summon us and support us. These meetings are very valuable! I tell you young people that it is not enough training the mind, it is necessary to learn to train our hearts, and religion is fundamental in this. Whilst speaking different languages and coming from different cultures, all we can and must learn to speak the language of good, that language all know how to speak and all understand. Faced with such force of evil in the world, we must speak the language of good with decision!”

The relationship between religion and peace is an unbreakable bond, said Albero Quattrucci "religions speak of peace and help men and women to build peace in any society. Religions are not a way to close our eyes to reality, on the contrary, they are a way to understand reality deeper and more profoundly. Man and woman of religion have a deeper and smarter look with regard to reality, because they understand the questions and the need of humanity beyond appearances".

From here, a proposal to young people: "Being young - said Quattrucci - means spending their energies for each other and not for themselves, that is, being peacemakers. This is what today we would like to offer, to become together, young Muslims and young Christians, young people of religion, to become together dreamers and builders of peace".

A proposal greeted with enthusiasm by many young people present at the meeting , they decided to form a group of "young people for peace" with the Community of Sant'Egidio and to collaborate by bringing together young Muslims and young Christians, as well as first aid to families affected by flooding in the North- East of the country.

On the importance of working together to help those in need and especially to support the people affected by the floods, Rais-ul-ulama Husein Kavazovic also insisted: "We are for open dialogue and for cooperation on everything between Muslims and Christians, especially at this time of hardship and suffering caused by the drama of floods. I thank the brothers of the Community of Sant'Egidio, who for years have continued to accompany us and promote contact between us and the collaboration among religions in Sarajevo and Bosnia. We want to continue to walk together!".

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