Fr. Majdandzic: My brother is not just Anto, but everyone who lives in Bosnia

NEWS 01.03.2019 17:46
Source: N1

My soul and the soul of a Vares Effendi (Muslim priest) is the same, I am a Bosnian citizen, and we were given to each other as a gift, a Bosnian Franciscan monk, Mirko Majdandzic, from the central Bosnian town of Vares, said for N1, on Friday.

Speaking about the fact that Bosnia’s Independence Day is celebrated in only one half of the country, the Bosniak-Croat shared region – the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and not in its Serb-dominated Republika Srpska entity, Fr. Majdandzic said that maybe all Bosnian residents love Bosnia equally, but show it differently.

“This day truly is the Independence Day. I went to the polls that day and voted for independence, which it is. But whether we succeeded in building it from within, that’s a different story,” he said. “One of the most important things for us should be to finally find a way to express our love for each other.”

Bosnian Franciscans from the Province of Bosna Srebrena are often described as the true guardians of Bosnia and Herzegovina, its treasures and history. They arrived in Bosnia in the latter half of the 13th century, aiming to eradicate the teachings of the Bosnian Church. The Franciscan order was allowed by Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror in the Ottoman Empire in 1463, after the Ottoman conquest of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Friar Andjeo Zvizdovic of the Monastery in Fojnica received the oath on May 28 of 1463.

Fr. Majdandzic said that talks of Bosnia's NATO and EU integrations are truly important things but for him even more important is to find a way for Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats to find a way to live among each other and to finally find understanding for each other.

Bosnia and Herzegovina went through a bloody war after the declaration of Independence which left the country divided, not only geographically but also ethnically. Bosnia is divided into two entities, the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska entity and the Bosniak-Croat shared Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina; however, even in ethnically mixed local communities, coexistence is still struggling.

When asked if Bosnians would ever get over these divisions, the friar said that the war had never ended for the people from this country.

“The situation is no better from that of 1992; only the conditions were somewhat different, so we fought each other with guns. Bosnia is independent, but often in places where we make the majority, we want Bosnia to be independent of others – and that’s our problem,” the friar said.

But the solution is to see that different peoples in this country are indeed a wealth of this country. He then asked himself who his brother in Bosnia and Herzegovina was?

“It’s not just Anto, but anyone who lives here. God gave us the same souls and allowed us to search for him together,” Fr. Majdandzic said.