Pristina, June 24, 2014
The Church of Christ the Saviour in Pristina has been desecrated again. This time the Albanian female singer Era Istrefi from Kosovo has filmed a video for her song, «E dehun», where she is dancing half-naked inside the uncompleted church. According to the Diocese of Raska and Prizren, several more people appear in the video together with her, “who, performing an extremely demonic and blasphemous choreography, are too dancing half-naked inside the church”.
“Unfortunately, this fact indicates once more what a miserable state this Orthodox church is in; especially in recent months it has been attacked by a number of Albanian politicians and media, all of whom are openly calling to destroy it or even to convert it into the UCK (Kosovo Liberation Army) museum,” reads the diocese’s statement of June 24.
Construction of the Church of Christ the Saviour was begun in 1990 by then Bishop of Raska and Prizren Pavle, who later became Patriarch of Serbia. Work in the church was interrupted in 1999 with the escalation of the military conflict and NATO aggression against Yugoslavia, reports the Kosovo Diary portal.
The church was attacked more than once and there were several attempts to blow it up. With no security provided by either local authorities or the KFOR contingent, the church is still used as a public toilet. This fact, in the clergy’s view, “is a symbol of the tragic situation in the sphere of religious and human freedoms on the territory of Kosovo and Metohija”.
Expressing its protest, the diocese has already not for the first time appealed to representatives of international organizations and the local Kosovo authorities, calling upon them to provide the church with security and to protect it from desecration as well as to give an opportunity to complete its construction, which will indicate that there still is space for Serbs and the Serbian Orthodox Church in Pristina and Kosovo and Metohija.
The current prime minister of Kosovo Hashim Thaci has lately called the uncompleted church “an awful piece of work”, while one of Kosovo ministers has suggested demolishing it.