The Diocese of Ras and Prizren (Kosovo) published the communiqué on statements of the Albanian press concerning the church of Christ the Savior in Pristina

February 6, 2015. The Diocese of Ras and Prizren (Kosovo) published the Communiqué regarding statements of the Albanian press concerning the construction of the church of Christ the Savior in Pristina.

Some texts published in certain media of Kosovo in Albanian language claim for the innumerable time that the cathedral of Christ the Savior in the center of Pristina is built illegally and, therefore, must be destroyed. The Diocese of Ras and Prizren of the Serbian Orthodox Church, on this occasion, stresses again that the construction of the mentioned church began on the land that is the property of the Serbian Orthodox Church, according to the existing legal procedures at that time. The diocese has detailed documentation with permissions and extracts of the cadasters proving that any statement about an alleged illegal construction is unfounded. The construction of the church began in the full agreement with the institutions of the state and of the regional authorities, as well as with the direction of the University of Pristina, located in the proximal distance. No complaints were expressed in relation to the construction under question. If it is claimed that this construction must be again legalized, it must be valid for all buildings built at that time in accordance with legal standards then in effect. The selective interpretation of the law to the detriment of the Serbian Orthodox Church is more a matter of discrimination on ethnic or religious basis than of any legislation.

The construction of the church of Christ the Savior began in 1992, while approximately 40,000 Serbs lived in Pristina. Since the Serbian Orthodox Church had only a small church, insufficient to cover the needs of the faithful, the construction of a larger church was needed. The claim that the construction of this church was politically motivated is a provocation. Indeed, the idea of building a church was promoted by bishop of Ras and Prizren Paul, future Patriarch of Serbia, which received the approval of the institutions, competent then for this project. In addition, the land on which is located the unfinished church of Christ the Savior in central Pristina is still in cadastral possession of the Serbian Orthodox Church, which proves the last extract from the cadaster of Kosovo got in 2012. So all the speculation about an alleged illegal construction of this church is unfounded and constitutes an attempt to undue political exploitation of this issue.

The Bishop of Ras and Prizren in time provided all the documents relating to the construction of that church and the ownership of the land to all international institutions in Kosovo and Metohija, and is ready to defend its rights by all legal means. Any attack against the church will be an attack against the Serbian Orthodox Church itself, whose rights are clearly defined.

 

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