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Bibles handed to Serbian army to ‘improve respect for the enemy’  

BiblesSerbia500More than 4,000 New Testaments are being given to the Serbian army in a bid ‘to prevent future war crimes’, according to a senior military figure.

More than 4,000 New Testaments will be handed out to soldiers over the coming months. The Bible would ‘improve respect for the enemy’ according to Colonel Dr Sasha Milutinovic, Chief of Religion Section, General Staff of the Serbian Army.

He said, ‘I hope as a result of this we will never see a war crime in the Serbian Army again. ‘In the past we made some mistakes. But now we not only want to improve our morals but to come back to faith in eternal life and to eternal values.’

The New Testaments have been produced by Bible Society and will be distributed free later this year. It is hoped that, in time, all 33,000 members of the Serbian Armed Forces will receive a copy.

The General Secretary of the Bible Society of Serbia, Vera Mitic, welcomed the move. ‘Soldiers can learn a lot about military service from the Bible,’ she said. ‘I strongly believe that the Bible should be a spiritual and moral guide for our soldiers.’

She added that she hoped the scheme would ‘inspire’ other Bible Societies in the Balkans to provide Bibles to their armies.

The former head of the Serbian Army, Ratko Mladic, is currently on trial at the Hague for war crimes. He denies 11 charges dating to the 1992-1995 Bosnian war. However, during the siege of Sarajevo, some 10,000 people – most of them Muslim – were killed by the Serb forces.

More than 8,000 Bosnian men and boys were killed in a massacre at Srebrenica in just three days. This became known as the worst war crime in Europe since World War II. Earlier this year a judge at the Hague upheld charges against five former Serbian Army officers for their role in the Srebrenica massacre.

Picture: Bible Society

Baptist Times, 03/11/2015
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