News from Europe

A symbol of hope for the coexistence of Christianity and Islam in Kosovo

The Balkans have seen their share of conflict and turmoil. There, for centuries, Orthodox Christians have been at odds with Muslims. These religious identities have turned into national identities, as Serbians are predominantly Christian while Albanians, which are now the majority of Kosovars, are Muslim.


A mosque, known as Madhe Mosque, was originally built in the 1890s, during the time of the Ottoman Empire, though it was destroyed by German bombers during World War II.

The current mosque was completed in 1943 and enhancements, including the second minaret, were completed as recently as 2013.

In the late 1920s, it was decided that a Serbian Orthodox church was to be built in the same courtyard as the mosque. This was later named the Church of the Holy Emperor Uroš, dedicated to Serbian emperor Uroš V.

Over the years, strife and conflict took their toll on the church that was often looted or set on fire after the beginning of the Kosovo War in 1999. Graffiti is frequently found on its walls to this day. Generally, though, the courtyard holding two seemingly conflicting religions continues to exist in peace.

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