Albania, April 6, 2012
“Unknown criminals vandalized the church and caused multiple damage in priceless icons of great religious and historical value,” reports the announcement of OMONIA. “We have repeatedly denounced similar cases in previous official announcements, but the authorities have unfortunately never taken specific measures for the protection of the churches and the arrest of the suspects. The cases of church thefts and desecrations are increased by the day.”
The church of Agioi Pantes in Chimara has been wholly reconstructed by Archbishop Anastasios and presents a unique monument due to its dimensions, its historical background and its importance as a spiritual center of the Orthodox community of Chimara, according to the website www.deropoli.com.
The iconostasis and the unique wooden roof – a typical feature of the ecclesiastical art in the coastal area – were also reconstructed during the restoration process.
A week ago, vandalisms occurred for the third time in the two Orthodox churches in the village Palasa, Chimara, as reported by the citizens in the Albanian press.
Desecrations and thefts have become an everyday phenomenon in Southern Albania, and the Greek Minority is calling for the cooperation of the Albanian authorities in the protection of Orthodox churches. Several cases have been reported during the last years in the area of the Greek Minority.