ORTHODOX AUTOCEPHALOUS CHURCH OF ALBANIA
HOLY ARCHDIOCESE OF TIRANA
AN OFFER WITH SPECIAL SIGNIFICANCE
($600,000 for a church and a mosque in Kosovo)
The burning of churches and mosques, does not promote justice and peace,
and certainly neither progress. On the contrary, it is a return to times
and practices which led the Balkans to stagnation, divisions and tragedies.
Indeed, those who involve religion in the violence are essentially
violating the spirit of religion. No matter how much one is in the right,
he must respect the sanctity and the purpose of sacred places of
worship. These should become centers of reconciliation and peace and not
breeding-grounds for maintaining animosities.
It is only with peaceful coexistence of the religious communities that
genuine social progress can take place. This is the principal that we
Christians and Muslims alike have adopted in Albania: to live together and
to cooperate with each other in harmony.
The sobriety of religious tolerance and courage of love must overcome the
blind hatred that can only lead to an escalation of conflicts. In the 21st
century, worldwide and particularly in the Balkan region, we are called
-independent of the national or religious community, in which we were born-
to work hard to coexist peacefully, with mutual respect and solidarity.
With this conviction, the Orthodox Archdiocese of Tirana has made the
We offer $600,000 -for the restoration of a church and a mosque in Kosovo,
or the construction of a youth center there that will promote peaceful
coexistence. This sum comes from the funds that, with great effort, we have
raised for the construction of the Orthodox Cathedral in Tirana. It will be
dispatched appropriately, so that it be used equitably, according to the
special significance of this initiative.
Archbishop of Tirana, Durres and All Albania