THE ORTHODOX AUTOCEPHALOUS CHURCH OF ALBANIA – Marc h 2015
The Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania protests the Government’s decision to tear down the fences of the “Resurrection of Christ” Cathedral Church in the center of Tirana. This action jeopardizes the safety of this holy place, where people of diverse ages come, and in particular, many young people and children.
The Cathedral complex has three entrances to the underground floor (the Cultural Centre, conference rooms for youth and children, as well as the Bookstore). The preservation of all of these environments becomes almost impossible without an external elementary fence, especially when night falls and in the absence of security conditions in which we live today.
The Government’s decision was taken in October 2014, without informing the Orthodox Church. The first announcement and the delivery of the urban plan were made to the Church on January 12, 2015 by the construction company that undertook the work. On 14 January, a promise was given by the Government that they would draw up a new plan, in which a final agreement would be reached by both sides. The new plan was submitted just at the end of February, two-thirds of which was the same as the previous plan. The Church representatives responded that we did not agree at all with the new plan. On March 2 the workers of the construction firm, without an official announcement, cut down the iron fence railing and plucked out the string of cypress and other decorative trees and plants from the northern side of the complex.
The courtyard of the Complex is also the roof of the complex’s underground floors where there are expensive ventilation equipment, oil and water tankers and electrical installations. These arbitrary interferences pose a risk to the safety of the surface of the yard, as well as to the underground floors.
These actions are in defiance of Law 10057 / dated 22.01.2009, “The Agreement between the Government and the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania” which guarantees respect for and protection of the holy places of the Orthodox Church. We are forced to protest these violations which injure the feelings of Orthodox Christians and of peaceful religious coexistence.