The Appeal of Conscience Foundation is urging religious leaders in the former Yugoslavia to pray for a “united stand for peace” in Bosnia, according to Rabbi Arthur Schneier, the group’s president.
The foundation, an ecumenical group that pursues religious rights issues worldwide, was taking out advertisements this week – in The New York Times and the Washington Post – that describe the effort.
The timing of the prayers deliberately coincides with this week’s U.S.-brokered peace talks in Dayton, Ohio, among Bosnia’s warring parties.
According to the advertisement, an appeal of conscience is being issued “to the leaders of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia to work for peace, and to see this work as a responsibility before history, before their peoples and ultimately, before God.”
The ad also urges “all men and women of goodwill to pray that these leaders be granted the wisdom to find the way to peace.”
The rabbi said in an interview that he also wanted “to mobilize public opinion” in the United States behind the peace effort.
Christian and Muslim leaders from the former Yugoslavia signed the ad.
The Jewish community in that region generally avoids taking political stances in order to continue its humanitarian efforts.