Friday, April 20, 2012

Return of Christianity to Kosovo

Islam and Christianity pointed out an article from The Economist about the growing numbers of Kosovars converting to Protestant and Catholic Christianity, but not the Eastern Orthodox Church.
From the article:

...[M]any of them come from a crypto-Christian background. Their forefathers may have converted to Islam under Ottoman rule, but behind closed doors they kept their old Catholic practices. Jahja Drancolli, a historian, adds that “religion has always been secondary” to being Albanian. Converts, he says, “want to return to the old religion they believe they had” and to show that they are “part of the Euro-American trend.” For every convert, anecdotal evidence suggests more go to church or are interested in Christianity.
The Catholic church is not the only one active in Kosovo. Since 1985, says Artur Krasniqi, a Protestant pastor, as many as 15,000 Kosovar Albanians have converted to Protestantism: 2,000 regularly attend church...
What about Orthodoxy? Close by Pastor Artur’s office is the empty hulk of the unfinished, abandoned Serbian Orthodox cathedral in Pristina. Kosovo’s Serbs, who are Orthodox, make up the largest Christian group in Kosovo. They no longer live in the capital but in the north or in scattered enclaves and villages. Since the 1999 war, dozens of their churches have been destroyed. Worse, the Serbian Orthodox church in Kosovo is riven by a political split that has seen monks brawling and fighting. In Belgrade the 94-year-old Serbian Orthodox patriarch, Pavle, has long been gravely ill and a vicious war of succession is being waged. For now, other forms of Christianity seem more peaceable.

I also suspect that Orthodoxy has too close of an association with Serbia which still claims Kosovo as its sovereign territory. Its unfortunate, but far too many people's faith is wrapped up in their politics.

May God bless all who read my ramblings,

Adopt A Catholic Blog

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