Catholics in Bosnia discuss religious conflict in city where killings sparked First World War

(Photo: REUTERS / Dado Ruvic)A man walks near destroyed buildings in Gavrilo Princip's hometown Bosansko Grahovo, January 31, 2014. Gavrilo Princip's killing of Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, lit the fuse for World War One, turning out the lights on an age of European peace and progress. Empires crumbled and more than 10 million soldiers died. The world order was rewritten. Yet 100 years on, in Princip's native Bosnia, time, in many ways, has stood still. A hero to some, a harbinger of destruction to others, the assassin is being fought over anew as Sarajevo prepares to mark the June 28 centenary of his act. The row goes to the heart of Bosnia today - a country still arguing about the past, divided by the present and deeply uncertain about the future. Picture taken January 31, 2014

Global leaders from the Catholic Church have gathered over two days in Sarajevo, Bosnia to discuss the consequences of the First World War, particularly its effect on terrorism and religious violence.

The meeting organizers are the international Oasis network that seeks to foster greater dialogue between Christian and Muslim communities, the Catholic News Agency reported on Tuesday.

The June 16-17 conference had as its theme "The Temptation of Violence: Religions between War and Reconciliation."

This year will mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, the first mass war in modern times.

Participants were also discussing how it was an age when the great genocides began and when the classic understanding of war was gradually replaced by terrorism.

Regarding religious violence, conference attendees were discussing how despite the fact that religion was not a strong factor in WWI, it eventually led to later conflict amongst minorities, such as with Jihadism in the Middle East and in Africa.

The conference is a reminder that the war was triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria along with his wife Sophie, in Sarajevo on June 28, by a self-declared Yugoslav, Gavrilo Princip, a member of a group called Young Bosnia.

Although focusing on current inter-religious violence, the conference will serve as a fresh look at the consequences of WWI, a monumental event not only for the world at large and Europe in particular, but also for the Islamic world.

The First World War bought about the end of the Ottoman caliphate, and its empire, an Islamic State led by a supreme religious and political leader referred to as a caliph reported CNA.

It also fertilised the birth of political Islam, Arab nationalism, and the strategic significance of oil and a series of genocides.

Although the war was thought, like many conflicts thought, to be over quickly, it dragged on for four years with millions dying wiping out a whole generation.

Some called it the war to end all wars but 21 years later, Europe and later the world became engulfed the Second World War.

Participants at the meeting were also discussing how religiously motivated violence has spawned suspicion of the faiths in West, particularly of the monotheistic faiths that are accused of being inherently violent and intolerant, CNA said.

Then they were considering in Bosnia, which lasted from 1992-1995, and which also fueled by both ethnic and religious dimensions between Chritians and Muslims.

Oasis said on its website that Sarajevo "still has the traces of a recent conflict and compels reflection about the violence that took place twenty years ago, which was nourished by an ethnic-religious dimension as well."

Sarajevo is the capital and largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with an estimated population of 370,00 made up the complex religious nature of the country in which Muslims are the largest religious group.

The city was once famed for its traditional cultural and religious diversity, with adherents of Orthodoxy, Islam, Judaism and Catholicism and coexisting there for centuries following by Muslims during the rule of the Ottomans.

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