In 1995, more than eight thousand Bosnian Muslims were slaughtered at Srebrenica in one of the worst atrocities on European soil since the Second World War.
11 July is internationally recognised as Srebrenica Memorial Day.
Marking the day, the Chair of the Department for International Affairs of the Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Declan Lang, encourages Catholics across England and Wales to pray for those killed at Srebrenica:
“In the aftermath of the Second World War, we came together to say that ‘never again’ can there be genocide or war on European soil. We failed to fulfil that promise.
“As we pause to remember the eight thousand Muslim men and boys massacred in Srebrenica, war rages once again in Europe. Nowhere and no one is invulnerable to prejudice and intolerance. That is why the work of Remembering Srebrenica, bringing communities together to learn the lessons of the Bosnian Genocide, is so important. Every year, the charity selects a theme to reflect upon. For 2022 this is ‘Combatting Denial: Challenging Hatred’.
“Pope Francis has warned us about the dangers of losing historical consciousness. Tackling dangerous historical revisionism about atrocities such as the Bosnian Genocide or the Holocaust is everyone’s responsibility. So too is challenging hatred, both in our own communities and beyond. Whenever our sisters and brothers are characterised as ‘the other’, we are called to defend their human dignity, reaffirming that we are all made in the image and likeness of God.
“I encourage Catholics across England and Wales to pray for those who lost their lives at Srebrenica and to continue to learn about what happened there. We also should do what we can to develop fraternal relationships with Muslim communities and work to ensure that ‘never again’ finally becomes a reality.”