Christian Minority Rights Threatened

Country: Kosovo

Date of incident: January 1, 2003

(2000-2003) Christian minority rights are at stake in Kosovo. Churches were attacked and destroyed. The denial of Jesus was demanded from youth at gunpoint.

The draft law concerning cults being discussed in Belgrade and that should be applied to the Kosovo region, has been the target of criticism even by OCSE  from its offices in Pristina. As far as inter-religious relations are concerned, the most important event was with no doubt the attack in mid March against the Serbs – already reduced from 200 thousand in 1999 to the current 80 thousand – by the Albanian Islamic majority, which began on March 15th in Mitrovica when three young Albanians were drowned, probably by Serbs, in the Ibar River. Before this date, relations were generally calm and the number of attacks carried out by extremist Albanians had remarkably fallen, although – between July 2003 and July 2004 – 109 murders were reported in Kosovo. Report 2005 on Religious Freedom in the World – Aid to the Church in Need • September 2003 - Most of the members of the Protestant Churches who are ethnic Albanians are afraid to declare themselves as Christian fearing persecution from local Albanians. Forum 18 News Service Religious Freedom Survey, 9/2003 • July 2000 - Orthodox Serbian Christians now face systematic destruction of their Churches and monuments by Albanians. Associated Press, 17/7/2000 • May 2000 - The Fellowship of the Lord’s People Church compound attacked by armed and masked men. 1 youth told at gunpoint to deny Jesus.