Rev. Helen Kirk: September 2018
This year Andrew and I were lucky enough to spend a week on holiday in Croatia; it is a beautiful country, rich in history and culture; inhabited by hospitable people who welcomed us warmly. Whilst there we visited the historic city of Dubrovnik and as we walked the ancient walls which surround the city, we were surprised to see that nearly every building, even those that were centuries old, had a new roof. In talking to local people, we realised that, only 25 years ago, this place now filled with tourists and sightseers, had been heavily bombarded during the war which saw the bitter break up of the former Yugoslavia.
Robert, the manager of our hotel, told us that he had fought in the war for 18 months; 'It is ridiculous' he said, 'I was expected to kill fellow human beings simply because they were not Croatian; yet they were still my neighbours, colleagues, associates. They were like me, human beings'
In the stories we heard there was still a sense of disbelief at the way division escalated so quickly into violence and ultimately war that destroyed, not just buildings, but people's lives. I do not think for a moment that we might face a similar situation in this country and yet Robert's words were a timely reminder that, despite the issues that divide us, we should never lose sight of our common humanity, and as Christians, the call to love.
For the full article from Helen, click here.
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