World Bulletin/News Desk
Organized by the Organization for the Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Mission in Kosovo, a conference on inter-religious dialogue started on Tuesday with the participation of representatives from Muslim, Serbian Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant and Jewish communities in Kosovo.
Religious leaders discussed the protection of religious heritage, property rights and legal frameworks on freedom of religion.
President of the Islamic Community of Kosovo Naim Ternava said that religious communities in Kosovo work well together.
"All religious communities provide an important contribution to fostering community life, tolerance and have always proved that they are the factor of stability in the country," said Ternava.
He added that after 14 years of war in Kosovo, religious communities have managed to regulate their legal status.
Ternava noted that priority topics included the development of a law on the restitution to religious communities of previously confiscated property, budgetary allocations for the financing of religious communities, and respect for religious rights in public institutions, especially in education and employment.
Representative of the Serbian Orthodox Church Bishop of Raska and Prizren Teodosije stated that there is no alternative for dialogue.
"We are always ready to approach a common solution because we believe that in such way we will be able to more effectively achieve some of our rights and needs related to our survival and life, but what comes first is to preserve our identity, property, and the existence at this time," he said.
Teodosije said such inter-religious dialogue is of great importance for the process of reconciliation among all communities in Kosovo, regardless of their religion. The Bishop praised the efforts of the Kosovo Force (KFOR) and the Kosovo police to protect the Orthodox Church in Kosovo.
Catholic administrator of the Apostolic Administration in Kosovo Bishop Dode Gjergij asked to promote the freedom of religion in family life and society. He stressed that the state helped religious communities through legislation.
Within the "Promotion of inter-religious dialogue" project, three inter-religious forums have been held since the start of the year with the participation of more than 70 religious leaders from the Islamic, Serbian Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant and Jewish communities.Last Mod: 17 Eylül 2013, 17:11