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NCC Laments Renewal of Violence in Kosovo

March 22, 2004

In recent days the world has seen the flames of conflict once again in the Balkans.  In a time of continuing hostility in Iraq, bloodshed in Israel / Palestine, and bombings in Spain, we are reminded by the violence in Kosovo that the embers of war can continue to burn for many years and flare up to cause further death and destruction. 

This round of violence in Kosovo was caused by the drowning deaths of two Albanian children, which were blamed on a group of Serbs.  The dead since this incident have been from both the Serbian and Albanian communities.  This violence reminds us that, as in other places of conflict around the world, a resolution that adequately addresses the concerns of all relevant parties must be found if peace is to truly have a chance at prospering.

This violence also reminds us that religion can be a casualty of conflict.  The destruction of churches and monasteries demonstrates the vulnerability of houses of worship to acts of violence.  One glimmer of hope in this moment of hostility is that religion has resisted the temptation to be drawn into the cycle of violence, as illustrated by the pleas for peace by His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Finally, this violence also reminds us of the need for the international community to work together, and effectively, to bring about the comprehensive solutions that prepare the way for lasting peace.  In the case of Kosovo, the United States, the United Nations, and the European Union must bring about negotiations that will ensure long-term stability in a multi-ethnic society.

These reminders have a bearing on other conflicts around the world today.  Indeed, we can see for ourselves what the future holds if we do not adequately resolve today’s conflicts. 

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NCC Media Contact: Carol Fouke, 212-870-2252; cfouke@ncccusa.org


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