“The experience of the former Yugoslavia
has shown that when the atheist political leadership of a Balkan country uses
religion for political reasons it brings only unrest and instability, if not disaster,”
daily Telegraf quoted Ilir Kulla as saying on Wednesday
The former head of the Committee of
Cults, Ilir Kulla commented in an interview published by daily Telegraf on
Wednesday the recent attitudes and debates regarding the state intervention in
the Church of St. Athanasius in Dhermi. He noted that in the beginning, the
issue started as an illegal construction, but later on, it returned as part of
a very old conflict.
Asked on the statement made by PM that
the Church will be reborn, Mr. Kulla said that perhaps, this could show Premier’s
plans to start an ecclesiastical career.
Kulla sees that the government leader,
Edi Rama at the position of an individual who perhaps is trying to become a
second Fan. S. Noli. For Kulla, Prime Minister Rama would be a good combination
of the artist, politician and cleric.
Given that the attitude of the
government and Rama has caused a strong clash with the Church and the Orthodox
community, former head of Cults Committee stated that “It is important to note
that relations with religious communities are not that simple as they are
regulated by two articles of the Constitution, Article 10 and 24 as well as
some special laws.”
“Relations between the state and the
religious communities are not as the relations between SMI and SP and church
canons are not as the Constitution of 2008 which was changed overnight by Rama
and Berisha. Orthodox believers are Albanians and the church statute is not like
that of SP where Congress meets when head of DP or SP wants. These relationships
are complex and need more caution,” Kulla stated.
Asked whether the state should intervene
and create unnecessary religious problems when Albania has hundreds of ‘diseases’
and acute problems, Kulla declared that the state should intervene and be present
in such situations but he added that this intervention should be done with
dialogue, understanding and not with threats, repression or using unethical
In the end, giving his personal opinion,
he declared that he wished this incident was one of those summer gossips. But,
he stressed that the experience of the former Yugoslavia has shown that when the
atheist political leadership of a Balkan country uses religion for political
reasons it brings only unrest and instability, if not disaster.