Archbishop’s donation for Kosovo rebuilding

The Greek Orthodox archbishop of Albania said yesterday he was donating $600,000 (495,000 euros) for the rebuilding of an Orthodox church and a mosque destroyed during last week’s ethnic violence in Kosovo. «Burning churches and mosques does not advance justice and peace, but rather takes us back to times and behavior that led the Balkans to backwardness, division and protests,» Archbishop Anastasios said. Twenty-eight people died in last week’s clashes between ethnic Albanians and Kosovo’s isolated Serbian minority, in which 366 Serb homes and 41 churches or monasteries were destroyed. Mosques in Serbia were burned in reprisal. «Whoever involves religion in violence effectively violates the spirit of religion,» Anastasios said. The money had been intended for the construction of an Orthodox cathedral in Tirana.