Greenbelt Interfaith News
    World Brief

    September 25, 1997

    Red Cross (and Red Crescent) Considers Adding Nonreligious Symbol Greenbelt Interfaith News

    The International Committee of the Red Cross confirmed on September 22 that it is considering approving a nonreligious symbol for its organization, The Electronic Telegraph reports. The symbol would not replace the organization's traditional red cross or the red crescent that is used in Muslim countries. Instead, it would be used in places such as Bosnia, where a religious symbol might endanger Red Cross workers or the people they are helping.

    Red Cross president Cornelio Sommaruga told a group of London Jews last week that the organization's traditional symbol is based on the Swiss flag and has no religious significance. According to The Jewish Chronicle, he said that a "culturally neutral" symbol would be proposed to the committee in November. "We are well aware of, and sympathetic to, the sensitivities that have been expressed both within Israel and in other countries to the use of the red cross," he said.

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    ©1997 Heather Elizabeth Peterson