Universal Code of Conduct on Holy Sites

Graveyard, Mostar in Bosnia Herzegovina
Church in the old city of Jerusalem
Ortodox church in Serbian village, Bosnia Hercegovina
Bhuddist tempel in Myanmar/Burma
Religious diversity in Bosnia Hercegovina
Cemetary in Sarajevo, Bosnia Hercegovina
Mosque in Sarajevo
Two Ortodox priests in a small Serbian village, Bosnia Herzegovina
Temple Mount/ al-Aqsa
The Inter-religious Council in Bosnia Herzegovina
Serbian Ortodox church outside Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina


Holy sites are of crucial spiritual and cultural significance to billions of people across the globe. Yet, history demonstrates again and again how easy it is for sacred places to become inextricably caught up in political, territorial and religious disputes, becoming pawns of conflict themselves. Harm to holy sites has an impact on the core of people’s identities, reinforces community trauma, and adds a deep symbolic dimension to conflict. Attacks on places of worship frequently fuel the escalation of violence as well.

The result of all this is that too often, in the minds of many, religion becomes a synonym of violence, losing its potential to be a force for peace, justice and reconciliation. The Universal Code of Conduct on Holy Sites is a new, cutting-edge strategy to mitigate interreligious conflict and build peace across the globe. See more information on the webpage of this joint initiative between the Oslo Center, One World in Dialogue, Search for Common Ground and Religions for Peace http://www.codeonholysites.org/


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