OSCE - Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

11/12/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/12/2019 08:09

Freedom of religion or belief the focus of conference supported by OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina

More than 50 representatives of religious communities, local authorities and civil society organizations from across Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) gathered to discuss freedom of religion or belief at a conference on 12 November 2019 in Sarajevo, organized by the OSCE Mission to BiH.

The discussion focused on the modes of co-operation between local authorities and religious communities, the challenges religious communities face at the local level and the possibilities of advancing inter-religious dialogue.

'Advancing of freedom of religion or belief on the principles of inclusion and non-discrimination is essential for human security and the future stability of this country,' said Jasna Dobricik, Head of the Human Dimension Department of the OSCE Mission to BiH. 'We hope that today's event will contribute to strengthening this fundamental freedom in the upcoming period.' she added.

Igor Kožemjakin, Executive Secretary of the Interreligious Council in BiH, emphasized that freedom of religion or belief is one of the central themes the Interreligious Council in BiH focuses on. 'By monitoring attacks targeting religious edifices we contribute to their better protection and by issuing joint statements condemning such attacks, we build resilience to extreme and violent narratives, while sending the message of peace, tolerance and co-existence.'

The conference is part of the OSCE Mission to BiH's wider efforts to improve the co-operation of local authorities and religious communities in an inclusive and non-discriminatory manner.