Integral Mission in a World of Violence

Peter Kuzmič

International politics has been preoccupied in the last decade with the task of managing conflict, specifically inter-ethnic conflict. We have recently witnessed violence and brutality in Kosovo and East Timor despite the fact that the international community in these places intervened at an earlier stage than in Rwanda and Bosnia. In 1999 there were 29 inter-ethnic conflicts in the world and there are a dozen places in the world where new ethnic violence could break out. According to the UNHCR between 1991 and 1995 the number of refugees in our world increased from 17 to 27 million. When you talk to refugees you discover what human dramas these people bring. How to manage international and inter-ethnic conflicts will continue to remain a major task of the international community. For the last nine years we in the Balkans have lived on a war-driven roller coaster after the communist ideology was replaced by conflicting nationalistic ideologies. As Leon Trotsky said in a different context: ‘If anyone longs for a quiet lifestyle, they have certainly chosen the wrong epoch to live in.’ As Christians we are asking the question: how is the believing community to respond?