10 August 2010, 14:42
Senator Torshin urges to set up international foundation to protect Orthodox shrines in Kosovo
Moscow, August 10, Interfax – It is necessary to set up a special foundation to preserve sites of Orthodox culture in Kosovo, first vice speaker of Russian Council of Federation Alexander Torshin believes.
"This foundation should enroll as many people from various countries as possible and they will watch how Kosovo security services guard these objects, considering the fact that Kosovo authorities are not very interested in keeping Orthodox faith and Orthodox sites in the region, " Torshin told Interfax.
According to him, the international foundation should first of all attract representatives of Russia and the USA. Besides the foundation, he also believes it necessary to give a status of UNESCO-protected sites to Orthodox shrines in Kosovo.
"I believe the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Russian Orthodox Church should participate in the situation in order to settle it and prevent full destruction of these shrines," Torshin said.
Meanwhile, Kosovo authorities should "report how many Orthodox monasteries have been razed to the ground since the conflict started," he said and stressed that "being an Orthodox believer" he is not indifferent to the future of Serbian Orthodox monasteries and churches in Kosovo.
According to him, today majority of Kosovo population are Muslim, and "many of them have learned to hate Orthodox Serbia, the situation will change dramatically with all ensuing consequences."
After numerous trips to the region when he talked to local residents, the senator arrived at the conclusion that Orthodox minority in Kosovo is indeed oppressed.
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