President Jahjaga’s speech at the opening of the global interfaith conference in Prishtina

For many years now, representatives of different faiths and men who have dedicated their lives to the strength of spiritual communion have gathered together in Kosovo in order to show the value of interfaith and ecumenical dialogue and to demonstrate the importance religious tolerance.

Honourable leaders of religious communities,

For many years now, representatives of different faiths and men who have dedicated their lives to the strength of spiritual communion have gathered together in Kosovo in order to show the value of interfaith and ecumenical dialogue and to demonstrate the importance religious tolerance.

With a very long tradition of tolerance and inter-religious cooperation, even during the hardest points of its history, Kosovo has built the foundations of understanding and tolerance for many centuries; and it is this tradition that shows how hard it is to destroy the values which people have built together with lots of toil.

 For this reason, today, when we gather together to find a common path of understanding and peace, we return to our roots, which are based on cohabitation between people of different cultures.

By building an all inclusive society, based on values of tolerance, understanding and harmony, and by cherishing the highest value of trust and respect between people, we must help in continuation of promotion of dialogue between us, between different cultures, traditions and faiths.

 It is exactly this tradition of dialogue, which is an added value of Kosovar society, which has gone through a painful history, but has always returned to the spirit of tolerance, both among people and religions.

The tradition of religious cohabitation, nurtured through the whole history of the country, tradition also ingrained in our Constitution as an important part of human rights, makes Kosovo a country respectful of diversity and peace.

However, at a time of global security challenges, when at the same time cohabitation and religious cohabitation are being challenged, we need a common response, an all encompassing one, to protect a value important to people- understanding and trust between them.

This challenge, which has touched upon Kosovo as well, is turning into an important battle for our citizens, for our youngsters, in order to reiterate once again the values of their young state and the fact that the future is based on the trust in our common state, which is being built upon the multitude of cultures, traditions and on cohabitation between them. To ensure such a thing, we must confront extremisms of any kind and with influences which they may have upon our youth.

Thus, we need the utmost engagement of our societies, of ourselves, in opening of perspectives for the youth of our country, in increasing the level of education and in cultivation of the culture of cohabitation. And religion is here to help this engagement towards a brighter future.

In our endeavours to guarantee peace and security, not just ours but that of the whole region, in times when we face these difficult challenges, we are attempting to build a new architecture of cooperation with trust.

Values based on tolerance, understanding and all inclusiveness must win over confrontation and must pave the way to reconciliation between people and states, by guaranteeing cooperation, and opening of perspectives for the future.

Honourable participants,

Our different religions must bring us together and not divide us in our daily work in building of trust among our communities, in our endeavours to change the harsh past and to bring people closer to each other, to win over evil which could threaten anyone of us. Faith must not be used for any other reason, and it must not have any greater mission than promotion of peace and love for one another.

Irrespective of their beliefs, our citizens have different ambitions and aspirations, and above all they have their dreams for a better and richer life. They want faith to be added value to the society in which they live, in a state which treats them as equals, which offers them opportunities to progress, which cohabitates with its neighbours in peace and offers them fearless freedom of movement in any desired direction.

Therefore, with continuous promotion of interfaith dialogue, we not only promote the most important value of the country, that of tolerance and understanding, but at the same time we also help the continuous endeavours to build the dialogue between different communities.