From an article featured in the new newsletter from US-based International Orthodox Christian Charities.  Remember they’re outnumbered something like 90 to 1 just now, with most Serb residents still refugees farther north in Serbia and independent Montenegro.  IOCC and the big Serbian Orthodox monastery in Kosovo, Decani (pronounced “deh-CHAH-nee”), are trying to help people of all religions and ethnicities there.  IOCC has gotten busier in Kosovo in the last couple months, as indicated here and hereHere’s more about the work of the monastery there mentioned in the headline story of this post.

And some Orthodox welcome Kosovar independence (from a church in Philadelphia’s website, from which I guess it will pass at some point):

February 21, 2008

We greet the Declaration of Independence of Kosova with joy and prayers that justice has been accomplished for a long suffering people in what has been a sorely troubled region. We have watched with concern the saga of Kosova unfold over the decades And now we add our prayers to the many who shall work with integrity and devotion in the governance of the new state.

The journey to statehood has been a long and arduous one, replete with obstacles and misgivings, martyrdom and heroism as well as with hope and aspiration for a secure and sane way of life. The actual tasks have only just begun as Kosova faces the challenge of building up a society based on constitutional guarantees, human and civil rights and equality before the law for all citizens. In so doing, it shall secure international credibility and thus earn respect and confidence among nations.

As an Albanian Orthodox Christian, I pray that all the God-loving people and citizens of Kosova regardless of ethnicity or religious persuasion shall enjoy all the rights, priviliges and responsibilities as are accorded to the citizens of Europe’s new republic.


Very Rev. Arthur E. Liolin

Fr. Arthur is Chancellor of the OCA’s Albanian Archdiocese, pastor of its cathedral, and brother to its Ruling Hierarch, Bishop NIKON.  The Archdiocese celebrated the 100th anniversary of organized Albanian Orthodoxy in America, last Sunday in Boston (at this moment the celebration is the lead item on the OCA’s homepage) with help from the world’s other two organizationally-distinct Albanian Orthodox jurisdictions, the Albanian Diocese of America, of the Patriarchate of Constantinople; and the Autocephalous Archdiocese of Albania; with the presence of their primates.  (Archbishop ANASTASIOS of All Albania is the Greek missiologist and missionary to Africa, recruited to lead in “resurrecting” the Orthodox Church in that country in the ’90s, who has made a point of offering material assistance to all Albanians without regard to religion, including the refugees from Kosovo back then. He turned many Muslims there – the majority of the population – from hating, suspecting, and [some] trying to kill him, to loving him.)  Albanian Orthodox in Boston were key in that country’s early years of independence almost a century ago, and in emerging from Communism in the ’90s.  Here’s the Wikipedia piece, and OrthodoxWiki, which reminds us that Orthodox Christians have been in Albania since the Apostles!  Probably the best-known Albanian-Americans are the Orthodox Belushi brothers from Chicago, Jim and the late John, comedic actors.  (Sorry, Reege, this is about ‘Albanian-Albanians,’ not Italo-Albanians! Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)  This is the website of an amazing family, the Hoppes, the parents originally U.S. Protestant converts to Orthodoxy, who went to Albania to help rebuild the Orthodox Church there.  Lynette Katherine’s struggle with terminal breast cancer wrenched a sizeable portion of the U.S. and Albanian Orthodox communities, but by all accounts she not only endured with honesty and strength till the end (+August 27, 2006, Memory Eternal), but seemed to acquire, and share with all around her, a real sanctity amid it all.  She too wrote a book about the Church’s “resurrection” there.  She’s on my list of reposed possible Saints for whom I pray and whose prayers I seek.

  1. 1 Kosovo, Serbs, Albanians, human faces

    […] Alan Higgins wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptFrom an article featured in the new newsletter from US-based International Orthodox Christian Charities. Remember they’re outnumbered something like 90 to 1 just now, with most Serb residents still refugees farther north in Serbia and … […]

  2. 2   Kosovo, Serbs, Albanians, human faces by

    […] continues at Leo Peter O’Filon brought to you by and […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: