The Diocese of Raška-Prizren condemns today’s incident in Prizren and the physical assault on a priest

This morning at around 8:45 AM in the centre of Prizren, in front of the Teranda Hotel, an incident occurred when a Kosovo Albanian hung a KLA flag on the window shield of a Serbian bus and then started verbally provoking pilgrims from central Serbia.

The pilgrims had come to Prizren by bus with Vranje license plates to attend the Holy Liturgy and afterwards visit the holy sites of Prizren. When the Prizren priest J.R. approached the bus to welcome the pilgrims and advised them not to respond to the provocations, the mentioned individual physically assaulted the priest, twisting his arm harshly. A Kosovar policeman and a local Kosovo Albanian citizen immediately came to the priest’s aid, after which the attacker fled with his vehicle. This incident occurred in front of the pilgrims. After the incident, the faithful participated in the liturgy and venerated the holy sites of Prizren.

The spokesperson for the Kosovo Police for the Prizren region, Shaqir Bitici, has officially stated to the media today that the suspect in the attack on the priest has been detained and placed under arrest for 48 hours.

The Diocese of Raška-Prizren condemns this incident as an act of intimidation based on ethnic and religious grounds and expresses sincere hope that such events will not be repeated. It is clear that this was an isolated case in Prizren, where our clergy and theology students otherwise live peacefully, and our pilgrims regularly visit the holy sites of the city.