KPS to police Orthodox churches

The Kosovo Police Service has begun daily monitoring and policing of Serbian Orthodox churches in Kosovo.

Izvor: B92

Saturday, 28.02.2009.

10:04

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The Kosovo Police Service has begun daily monitoring and policing of Serbian Orthodox churches in Kosovo. Hitherto this has been the job of private security agencies. KPS to police Orthodox churches The Rasko-Prirzrenski parish has not been notified of the changes. The changes to the security system in over 20 churches in Kosovo have been conducted on the basis of a Kosovo government ruling and are envisioned by the law on religious and cultural heritage, say the Kosovo police. Security has been changed in churches in the Prizren region, including three each in Orahovac and Suva Reka. Bishop Artemije says that he is surprised by the decision and that the move effectively marks the start of application of the Martti Ahtisaari plan and the clause pertaining to the protection of cultural and religious heritage in Kosovo. 40 policemen have been stationed in Prizren for this purpose. Artemije says that EULEX is responsible for this latest turn of events, which Serbia also authorized on condition that the Ahtisaari plan was not implemented. Sources from the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) in Kosovo told B92 that the very oldest monasteries in Kosovo, dating back to the Middle Ages, remained under KFOR control, and that they were not covered by the new policing regime. Monasteries like Visoki Decani, Gracanica, Pecka Patrijarsija, Gorioc, Zociste, Sveti Arhangel, Sokolica and Devic would continue to be patrolled by KFOR troops. Police protection is chiefly reserved for newly-restored churches and monasteries, the majority of which were damaged or destroyed on March 17, 2004.

KPS to police Orthodox churches

The Raško-Prirzrenski parish has not been notified of the changes. The changes to the security system in over 20 churches in Kosovo have been conducted on the basis of a Kosovo government ruling and are envisioned by the law on religious and cultural heritage, say the Kosovo police.

Security has been changed in churches in the Prizren region, including three each in Orahovac and Suva Reka.

Bishop Artemije says that he is surprised by the decision and that the move effectively marks the start of application of the Martti Ahtisaari plan and the clause pertaining to the protection of cultural and religious heritage in Kosovo.

40 policemen have been stationed in Prizren for this purpose.

Artemije says that EULEX is responsible for this latest turn of events, which Serbia also authorized on condition that the Ahtisaari plan was not implemented.

Sources from the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) in Kosovo told B92 that the very oldest monasteries in Kosovo, dating back to the Middle Ages, remained under KFOR control, and that they were not covered by the new policing regime.

Monasteries like Visoki Dečani, Gračanica, Pećka Patrijaršija, Gorioč, Zočište, Sveti Arhangel, Sokolica and Devič would continue to be patrolled by KFOR troops.

Police protection is chiefly reserved for newly-restored churches and monasteries, the majority of which were damaged or destroyed on March 17, 2004.

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