Honourable Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome,
the head of  Roman Catholic Church,

I welcome you in the name of the Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina; I welcome you on behalf of Muslims living in this country and on my own behalf.

Your visit is to us an expression of your kindness and good will to cheer up all of us who live here. We are pleased that you chose our country, Bosnia and Herzegovina, for your first visit to this part of the world.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a place of meeting and of mutual permeation of the greatest religious traditions and cultures. At the same time, this is also a region  of great suffering of ordinary people. Here perhaps you can see most clearly the indicators of a deep crisis through which the modern world is passing.

In our world, all universal values are relativized, what is mostly visible in the global advocacy of anti-human ideas and in disturbing de-sacralisation of the world. Faith in the living God, as his messengers have spoken about him, seems to be burning out. Its place is being usurped by ideologies and moral stumbling, and finally by idols made by human hands.

I am deeply convinced that the basic call of all of us leaders of religious communities is a purposeful struggle against moral relativism. Our efforts should be directed to spreading the spirit of optimism, repentance and hope. We need a return to the traditional values and a caring attitude toward all people.

Your visit to this country, with the message "Peace be with you", we experience as a support to affirmation of religious and cultural traditions of Bosnia and Herzegovina in a unique and fertile heritage of Europe. All shortcomings and controversies in understanding the contemporary European identity most directly affect the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The genocide, which was committed on Bosnian Muslims, obliges us to re-examine our faith and our mission.

Obedience to the One and Only God involves serving all people. The reconciliation with the Almighty God, who himself is the "Reconciler" (es-Salaam), includes reconciliation with others and with oneself. This is the purpose of human existence in this world. In our relationships as humans there should be no place for pride and egoism, because the measure of human success is humility and gratitude to God.

However, life is becoming ever more cruel. We live in an age that requires tremendous spiritual effort from all of us, the followers of religions of Messengers. Consoling, awakening hope and repentance for committed sins can become the strength  for humanity. Dominant theological and philosophical models today are more focused on achieving global political goals rather than helping people to come closer to God's grace. It looks like the people of faith give more importance to support political, military and economic blocks than to testify to truth and grant love and comfort to powerless.

In selfish love for ourselves we forget importance of the true love for God, and therefore for "our neighbour" (Mt 22, 34; Qur’an 17, 26). If we do not resist together to this deviation with an open and benevolent critical attitude and by discovering not only the consequences of evil but also its causes, we will betray the basic principle of our call - and that is taking care of each other.

Honourable Pope, together with the Catholic Church in Bosnia and Herzegovina we want to strengthen faith in the one God, religious morality and spirituality in contrast to alienation of material civilization and its products, the de-sacralisation of the world. We believe that marriage between a man and a woman, giving birth to children, growing up and upbringing in the family, is the mystery conceived by Ruhu-l-Emin (Holy Spirit) in accordance with God's plan.

Giving up of teaching and of  accepting this mystery in life of humans would mean betrayal of one of the greatest mysteries of Abrahamic tradition.

Also, we are deeply touched by your concern for us, for all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Your sojourn among us we understand also as full support to this country, its sovereignty and its future in the European and world community of free countries. We hope that the most responsible persons in our country will find in your messages motivation to promote social peace, mutual respect of people and prudent, wise and constructive social and political integration of BiH society.

Therefore, while we are with you today in Sarajevo, with more confidence and hope we believe in the joint contribution to compassion and responsibility for spreading reconciliation in our restless and divided world. We welcome your calls to help programs of peace in the countries of terrible suffering and torturing Muslims and Christians and other people of the Middle East, and everywhere where human persons are exposed to suffering and injustice. Your coming among us is an encouraging act for all people of good will in this country of different limitations, opportunities and expectations.

Filled with great joy, I wish you a pleasant sojourn in our country where echoes of Ibrahim’s (Abraham’s), Musas’ (Moses’), Isa’s (Jesus’) and Muhammad's words and messages are heard for centuries among the mountains that surround us. Peace be with you.