French Religious Leaders Appeal for Calm to Avoid "War of Religions"

PARIS, MARCH 23, 2003 (Zenit.org).- France’s top religious leaders appealed for calm among their faithful on Saturday, for fear that that the conflict in Iraq would unleash a «war of religions.»

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Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, archbishop of Paris; Grand Rabbi Joseph Sitruck of France, and rector Dalil Boubaker of the Grand Mosque of Paris, encouraged believers to remain «calm» for fear that the conflict would unleash a «war of religions.»

«We must maintain the republican tradition of tolerance and respect for all. It is not necessary to add, in such a tense international situation, a deterioration of the social climate,» the three religious leaders said.

Their appeal sought to avoid, among other things, the attacks launched last year at the height of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, against the Jewish community in France, which numbers some 700,000 people.

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