Church of Christ the Savior surrounded by Roma settlement and garbage dump in the very center of Pristina
Like innumerable churches before it that fell prey to the mujahedin, Christ the Savior Cathedral has been desecrated. It is being used as a latrine. From ERP KIM Info-Service, the official Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren, with thanks to Susan. There are more photographs at the link.
The Information Service of the Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija has managed to obtain photographs recording the unprecedented scene in the very center of Pristina. The still uncompleted Orthodox cathedral of Christ the Savior with its consecrated foundations and cross, where Holy Liturgy was periodically served before the war while it was still under construction, has been turned into a public toilet, while the property around the church has become the squatting ground of Roma emigrants from the Republic of Albania who are, strangely enough, tolerated by the Kosovo Albanians, unlike Kosovo Roma who are persecuted and expelled.
After last month’s pogrom during which 35 Orthodox churches were destroyed and whose ashes in several cases stink of human feces and urine, this yet another example of barbaric behavior in the very center of Kosovo’s capital. To make matters even worse, this horrific spectacle of the humiliation of a single church and Christianity in general is located in immediate proximity and can be seen from the University Library and Pristina University. Both these institutions were usurped in 199 by the Albanians who summarily expelled all Serb professors and students. What is more, university representatives have been complaining for years to Pristna municipality authorities about the existence of the sole remaining Serbian Orthodox church in the area and asking that it be torn down. The advocates of an ethnically pure, Muslim Kosovo are especially infuriated by the presence of the golden overlay cross which can still be seen from some parts of the city and serves as a sad reminder that Orthodox Christians were once part of the city’s population.
The church of Christ the Savior was to have been completed in 1999; however, the eruption of war interrupted further works. The church remains as the unfulfilled wish of the pre-war population of 40,000 Serbs in Pristina to build a new church besides the already existing church of St. Nicholas, which was destroyed during last month’s pogrom. Today there are no remaining Serbs in Pristina.
At the end of December 2003 the municipality of Pristina passed a decision to appropriate the land on which the church was built but this decision was overridden by UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri. In his letter to the UNMIK chief at that time, Bishop Artemije strongly urged the protection of church property and that the church itself be placed under KFOR protection. Nothing of the kind was done; instead, Albanian municipal officials have tolerated a Roma settlement of squatters and a garbage dump immediately next to the church and the transformation of the church into a public toilet.
KFOR has not only failed to close the church of Christ the Savior and surround it with barbed wire but it has been left completely open; consequently, there is a great danger it will be dynamited one day as well, which is the ultimate aim of the Albanians who wish to wipe out the last traces of the presence of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serb people in this city, originally founded by the Serbian Holy King Milutin in the 14th century.
“These horrific scenes of extreme lack of culture and savagery in the center of Pristina where, in addition to the Albanians, several thousand foreigners are living who can see the humiliated church for themselves, are a stain not only on the Pristina municipal administration and Pristna University but also on the UN mission which five years ago undertook to preserve a multiethnic society in Kosovo and Metohija,” said Bishop Artemije. In a statement for the ERP KIM Info Service, the Bishop added: “In addition to all the horrors and the destruction and desecration of over 140 churches since the arrival of the UN mission in this region, the shocking spectacles from the church of Christ the Savior, which has been turned into a public toilet, confirm that the eradication of Christianity and all Christian civilizational values in this region is being carried out with the silent, and frequently the active, acquiescence and participation of Albanian provisional institutions and their sponsors in the UN mission.”
This is yet another indicator of the complete collapse of the UN Mission in Kosovo and Metohija which has lost control of the situation. The Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija appeals for the implementation of urgent measures of stabilization to moderate the situation in the Province, which is rapidly being transformed into a haven for terrorists and a jamahyria in which there is no future or survival for anything bearing the sign of the Cross or any other sign of European civilization.