Illegal Albanian authorities’ actions on the territory of the Orthodox Cathedral in Tirana

March 2, 2015. Violation of freedom of religion in Albania. In Tirana (Albania), the authorities decided to violate the territory of the Orthodox Cathedral destroying the iron railings and uprooting the trees and the plants of the north side of the building, reports Romfea and Himara. This arbitrary intervention took place without any formal and preliminary announcement from the Albanian authorities.

With this action the Cathedral is becoming a public place by putting in danger the safety of the building and the propriety of the Church. The land where the Cathedral is built doesn’t belong to the State but it’s a private propriety which is registered according to Albanian legislation.

The spokesman of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania Mr Thomas Demas said that the Cathedral is in danger after this violation of the building. He claimed that the argument of the Albanian Ministry of Culture that they interfered only for the renovation of the Monuments in Tirana is not serious but an excuse as the Church is the owner of the specific land. He added also that in the basement of the building there is very expensive equipment which is now without protection and can be stolen. Mr Demas finally mentioned that this action is against the law 10057/22.1.2009 (Agreement between the Cabinet and the Church) which guarantees the respect and the protection of the worship places of the Orthodox Church in Albania.

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