Academic journal article Journal of Ecumenical Studies

Opening Remarks by His Excellency Boris Trajkovski, President of the Republic of Macedonia

Academic journal article Journal of Ecumenical Studies

Opening Remarks by His Excellency Boris Trajkovski, President of the Republic of Macedonia

Article excerpt

It is my distinct privilege and honor to join you today and to share with you some of my thoughts. Furthermore, I want to thank Paul Mojzes and Leonard Swidler for all their devotion and dedication to bringing us together. I am particularly gratified to be among many dear and old friends--members of the honored diplomatic corps, renowned and respected international scholars, and honored citizens of Macedonia. Finally, allow me to acknowledge several highly esteemed Macedonian religious leaders: His Beatitude, the Archbishop of Ohrid and of All Macedonia, His Holiness Stefan; the respected Hafiz Arif Emini, Reis-ul-Ulema, of the Islamic community; His Excellency, Dr. Joakim Herbut, Catholic Bishop of Skopje; Pastor Mihail Cekov; and Mr. Victor Mizrahi, president of the Jewish community.

Today, we continue with the process of promoting peace and justice by simply meeting as one human being with another. From war to discrimination and other violations of human rights what we see all too frequently is a lack of tolerance and understanding between cultures and traditions. There is a tendency to think of "us" and "them." People fear what is different and demonize the "other." Thus, we must reach out to people of other traditions and faiths to reduce those barriers of "us" and "them" to show that we all share a common humanity and a belief in a just God who loves peace among God's people. …

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