Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Friday 23 April |
Saint of the Day: St. George

Catholics, Orthodox and Muslims preparing together for papal visit to Bosnia

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 05/28/15

[getty src=”474714146?et=UhSQAqYLTvpQWqk-ChP4VQ&viewMoreLink=on&sig=4NOwXPuJFB3TJ8junV6va_XbmmORlZieC5HNX17YeGY=&caption=true” width=”594″ height=”503″]

From Reuters: 

Preparing for the visit, Bosnians of all faiths are showing a rare unity in a country plagued by political and ethnic tensions nearly 20 years after the end of its 1992-95 war that claimed over 100,000 lives. While the pontiff’s June 6 visit is the most eagerly awaited by Catholic Croats, the smallest group in the ethnically segmented state, Orthodox Serbs and Muslim Bosniaks have also taken an active part in preparing a warm welcome for Francis. His compassionate message seems to have struck a chord in a country struggling to overcome its divisions and advance its stalled bid to join the European Union. “Citizens from all ethnic groups openly express joy about his visit,” said Tanja Topic, an analyst at the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Banja Luka, capital of the Serb part of Bosnia. “This certainly has to do with the pope’s messages about the need for peace, unity and tolerance that he has been sending since he was elected.” In Srebrenica, where Bosnian Serbs slaughtered around 8,000 Bosniak men and boys in 1995, a nine-year-old Muslim girl said the same thing in fewer words. “For me, the pope is a good man,” said Zejfa Ahmetovic, a member of a multi-ethnic choir rehearsing a song for the Argentine-born pope. In the central town of Zavidovici, Bosniak woodcarver Salim Hajderovac, a devout Muslim, surprised his Catholic neighbors by offering to make a chair for the pope. The local Catholic priest and parish gladly agreed to co-finance it. “I can’t tell you how much this means to me,” he said, showing the imposing chair of walnut wood engraved with the papal coat-of-arms and emblems of Bosnian Catholic shrines.

Read more.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
New study shows that these 2 childhood habits make you a happier ...
Philip Kosloski
5 Fascinating facts about Jesus in the Eucharist
Bret Thoman, OFS
“Jesus, you take care of it”: Prayer of a priest Padr...
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
Philip Kosloski
Catholic prayers for anxiety
See More