Greece lodges complaints after Albania razes church

Greece lodges complaints after Albania razes church

Greece filed a demarche with Albania’s ambassador in Athens and made official complaints to the European Commission and Council of Europe on Wednesday after officials in the neighboring country demolished an Orthodox church in the village of Dhermi.

The Foreign Ministry also informed Berlin and Washington of its objections. Earlier, a Greek diplomat likened the demolition of the Church of Aghios Athanasios to acts carried out by jihadists.

“The destruction of holy sites and objects of worship took place, at least until recently, in the wider region of the Middle East and North Africa, at the hands of jihadists. Today we also saw such an act carried out in a neighboring country, Albania,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Constantinos Koutras.

Albanian officials have said they intend to carry out excavations at the site in an attempt to discover the grave of Nilo Catalano, a 17th-century Catholic missionary.

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