Could teaching soldiers to love their neighbour stop them committing war crimes? This Serbian Colonel thinks so
Thousands of soldiers in the Serbian army are being given Bibles paid for by churchgoers in Britain in what is being billed as an attempt to prevent them committing future “war crimes”.
Senior officers said they hope to give a copy of the New Testament to every soldier in the country to teach them to love their neighbour.
One Colonel said Serbian forces had committed atrocities in the past because they had “forgotten” Christian principles.
The former Serbian army chief Ratko Mladic, is currently on trial at The Hague facing war crimes charges, which he denies, relating to the Bosnian war in the 1990s.
An initial batch of 4,000 copies of the New Testament has been distributed to troops in an initiative funded by the British arm of the Bible Society.
The charity, whose founders include William Wilberforce, exists to encourage reading of the Bible but insists it does not promote any specific religious teaching.
Colonel Dr Sasha Milutinovic, Chief of Religion Section, General Staff of the Serbian Army said he hoped the move would teach troops about the basis of international law.
“I hope we will never see a war crime again in the Serbian Army again,” he said.
“That will be the result of this – it will improve our sense of how to treat the enemy and respect for the enemy.”
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SOURCE: The Telegraph