Summary of "Religion and Reconciliation in Bosnia"

Summary of

Religion and Reconciliation in Bosnia

by Peace Watch

Summary written by: Mariya Yevsyukova, Conflict Research Consortium

Citation: "Religion and Reconciliation in Bosnia." Peace Watch. April 1997. V. III, No. 3. P. 10.

Vinco Puljic, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Sarajevo, presented his thoughts on the situation in Bosnia after the Dayton agreement during a discussion organized by United States Institute of Peace (USIP). Puljic has always supported multi-ethnic composition of Bosnia and has been against its division. While the military conditions of the Dayton Accords have been implemented, political issues remain unresolved. In addition, local mass media keeps promoting nationalistic stereotypes. This makes ethnic relations very tense and reduces the effectiveness of reconciliation efforts.

For reconciliation to happen, a dialogue between the communities needs to develop. This dialogue should be based on trust and confidence, which can be promoted through initiating the process of parties' recognition of each other and acknowledging their mistakes. In order to build confidence and trust and encourage a dialogue between ethnic communities "issues of common interests and agreement" should be identified (p. 10). One of the efforts in this direction is the attempt to create "a council of religious leaders" which would encourage a dialogue between Bosnian religious communities. Vinco Puljic also mentioned two letters of Catholic Bishops of Bosnia and Herzegovina calling for reconciliation, and the future "visit of Pope John Paul II to Sarajevo" (p. 10).