The Visoki Decani monastery announced a few days ago that a citizen of Albania, Nikolla Xhufka, who reportedly falsely presents himself as an Orthodox priest, tried to take photos and make a video at the monastery with “provocative nationalist intentions.” The monastery denied media allegations that Xhufka was “removed because he is Albanian“ and stated that KFOR has been informed about the incident.
“Being informed by the Church of Albania that N. Xhufka is an imposter dressing as a cleric and spreading nationalist ideas, he was kindly told that he cannot film at the Decani Monastery,” Visoki Decani said.
They underlined that Xhufka left the monastery peacefully.
Some media reporting in Albanian, including Telegrafi, reported in the meantime that the priest was „roughly ejected from the Visoki Decani monastery.“
On Sunday, Telegrafi cited Xhufka as saying that the monks first „welcomed him politely and kindly,“ but also that they allegedly „rudely removed him from the monastery as soon as they found out that he was Albanian.“
Referring to Xhufka’s allegations, this media outlet reported that one of the monks of Visoki Decani told him: „Sir, you’d better run before we beat you… I’m in charge here, get lost.“
01/ Several days ago a citizen of Albania Nikolla Xhufka who falsely presents himself as an Orthodox priest tried to make a video at Dečani Monastery with provocative nationalist intentions. Orthodox Church of Albania had already issued a statement on him https://t.co/PwWd0tmoFZ pic.twitter.com/DGlVcyb7R5
— Dečani Monastery (@DecaniMonastery) February 6, 2023
Telegrafi also wrote that Xhufka emphasized before his visit that he would not be asking for permission to enter the monastery because it „belongs to Albanians – not Serbs“.
„The monastery was an Illyrian church,“ Xhufka claimed.
Visoki Decani monastery denied these claims last night.
“False claims by N. Xhufka in some Kosovo Albanian media that he was ‘removed from Decani monastery because he is Albanian’ are completely incorrect and represent nationalist manipulations intended to spread religious and ethnic intolerance.”
The monastery underlined that immediately after the incident, KFOR was asked to “monitor possible provocative actions and spreading of ethnic and religious hatred.”
Orthodox believers from Albania have been regular guests of this monastery for years. During major holidays and joint liturgies with believers from Albania, Decani monks deliver part of the liturgy in Albanian.
One of the visits took place in May of last year when dozens of believers from Albania and priests of the Orthodox Church from this country came to visit the monastery.
In September of last year, a fifteen-member group of believers from Albania visited the monastery, where the liturgy was delivered in Serbian and Albanian.
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