The latest incident at the church of Christ the Savior in Priština - Communique of the Diocese

15. April 2016 - 13:04
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COMMUNIQUE

Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raška and Prizren has condemned strongly the latest incident at the still unfinished church of Christ the Savior in Priština downtown. This is one among many incidents perpetrated by hooligans who have been showing open disrespect towards Christian religious sites. The local press in Albanian language has published these days a photo showing unknown individuals who climbed the church without authorization of the owner, the Serbian Orthodox Church. No Kosovo officials have condemned this incident as well as many previous incidents at this site. We can only imagine what reaction would be if religious sites of other religious communities were targeted?

Apparently it will take time for hooligans to learn to respect religous sites, but the main problem in this case is indiference of Kosovo institutions, primarily Kosovo police, which has done nothing so far to prevent and sanction such and similar actions. Bishop of Raška and Prizren Teodosije wrote twice last year to Kosovo ministers of Interior, Spatial Planning and Culture requesting police to secure the church from frequent acts of desecration and disrespect. Especially sad is the use of the church and her walls as a public toilette, which we could see at the beginnning of this year during one of massive protests in Priština. Regrettably, the Diocese has not yet received answer to tehese letters which indicates that Kosovo police is not ready to adequately protect this site. We cannot but notice that such an attitude towards religious, especially Christian sites is inflicting most damage to Kosovo institutions as it demonstrates elementary disrescpect towards European and civilizational norms.

For Serbian Orthodox Church the church of Christ the Savior is a relilgious site with consecrated foundations and the Church expects from Kosovo institutions to provide normal conditions for the completion of this church and grant full freedom of religion to Orthodox Christians according to laws.

Diocese of Raška and Prizren

Serbian Orthodox Church, Prizren - Gračannica 15 April 2016

 

RELATED INFORMATION:

From the latest US State Department Report on Human Rights in Kosovo covering 2015 http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?year=2015&dlid=252863#wrapper
 
"Incidents involving violence against Kosovo Serbs attempting to return to the country persisted, particularly in the Peje/Pec, Istog/Istok, and Kline/Klina regions. In the first 11 months of the year, there were more than 254 incidents involving theft, break-ins, verbal harassment, and damage to the property of Kosovo Serbs and the Serbian Orthodox Church. Ethnic Albanians occasionally used violence to prevent ethnic Serbs from attending religious services in certain areas (see section 2.d.)."
 

BISHOP TEODOSIJE'S LETTER TO KOSOVO MINISTERS REQUESTING PROTECTIO OF THE CHRIST THE SAVIOR CHURCH

The Letter was posted first time in July 2015 and has been sent again after a few months as the church was used as a public toilette but no answer has been received nor Kosovo police has been deployed at the site