In early 2001 the world was alarmed by reports that the Afghani Talibs destroyed the gigantic statures of Buddha, unique monuments of ancient culture. At that time the topic of prostrate sculptures firmed up in the headlines of major newspapers and news reports from leading TV networks. Almost unnoticed against this background was another tragedy, which had begun a little earlier and continues to this day, namely, the destruction of monasteries and churches in Kosovo.
It did not happen in a remote country where the Talibs exercised complete sway, it, the crucifixion of Kosovo, was taking place in the very center of Europe, before the very eyes of peacemakers from the most developed countries. The Albanian extremists were finishing now what they had no time to complete during World War II. According to the data from the Serbian Orthodox Church, nearly 150 churches and monasteries have been destroyed for the last five years in Kosovo and Metochia, the cradle of Serbian Orthodoxy.
It was not just cultural monuments or sacred things that were destroyed. What was profaned was the very soul of a nation with rich traditions and an outstanding fate, a nation which helped to liberate Europe from fascism 60 years ago, sacrificing to the Victory about a million of its people.
According to many experts, Kosovo today has been turned into a breeding-ground of terrorism for the whole of Europe, a transfer point for drug dealers. Only a few surviving churches and the ruins of the churches which had no chance to survive the new barbaric times stand as tacit reminders of the past of that land.
The Religion portal, together with the Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called, publishes a gallery of Kosovo churches as they were before the destruction and as they are now. Perhaps these pictures, more eloquently than any words, relate the tragedy of one of the largest European nations, which, strangely, was bypassed by world news reports.
- 1. THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY VIRGIN, Musutiste near Suva Reka
- 2. ST MARK'S OF KORISA MONASTERY, in Korisa near Prizren
- 3. ST GABRIEL'S MONASTERY, in Binac near Vitina
- 4. DEVIC MONASTERY, near Srbica
- 5. THE CHURCH OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE HOLY VIRGIN in Dolac near Klina
- 6. ST NICHOLAS' CHURCH, in Slovinje near Lipljan
- 7. THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY APOSTLES PETER and PAUL, in Suva Reka
- 8. THE HOLY TRINITY CHURCH, in Petric near Pec
- 9. THE HOLY TRINITY CATHEDRAL, in Djakovica
- 10. ST ELIJAH'S PARISH CHURCH, in the village of Zegra near Gnjilane
- 11. THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY HEALERS COSMAS AND DAMIAN, village of Novake near Prizren
- 12. ZOCISTE MONASTERY AND THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY HEALERS COSMAS AND DAMIAN
- 13. THE PARISH CHURCH, in Grmovo near Vitina
- 14. THE CHURCH OF ST KNEZ LAZAR, in Piskote near Djakovica
- 15. THE MONASTERY AND THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY ARCHANGEL, Gornje Nerodimlje
- 16. The Cathedral
- 17. The Church of the Holy Saviour
- 18. The Diocesan Administration in Prizren