Letter: No Christian virtue in Serbian acts

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Sir: Where are the voices of the great religions on the carnage of Bosnia? Where is the Pope and all his bishops? Where is the reborn Russian Orthodox Church? Where are the Muslim leaders?

Why are they not all in Bosnia, ordering, in the name of their one God, the bloodletting to cease, standing in the battlefield, risking their lives, commanding their co-religionists to lay down arms and love their God?

In the agony of Bosnia lies the historic opportunity for a spiritual communion between these three great monotheistic religions. It is an unparalleled opportunity, for in a few weeks of holding hands in Bosnia these religions could find the spiritual brotherhood and real love that literally centuries of doctrinal debate, formal reconciliations and fine speeches would not achieve.

This could be one of religion's great moments. This could be a time for it to show that its spiritual power is irreplaceable, and that all the arguments about science or enlightened philosophy having nullified it, and all the proclamations about the 'death of God', are infantile.

This is its time to redeem its still unacknowledged moral bankruptcy when the Nazis were killing off European Jewry in the greatest holocaust of history while the Catholic church, not to mention the Orthodox and Muslim faiths, stood by in silence.

Today, unlike then, the Catholic church has not even the most slender tactical reason for remaining silent (then its putative reason was not to burn its bridges, and hence its potential restraining influence, with the Nazis).

The lust for revenge among the ethnic groups in Bosnia is now so vicious that there can be no political solution. There can only be a spiritual solution, a call, in God's name, for the monstrous ethnic hatred that Milosevic, Tudjman and the others have fomented, to be stilled, and for love and forgiveness to find their voice once again.

Yours faithfully,


London, SW13

24 April