Albanian Gov’t Tears Down Greek Orthodox Church

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Himare, Albania, municipal authorities demolished the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Athanasios in the early morning hours of Wednesday to the dismay of Orthodox Christian locals.

Bulldozers and municipal police arrived at the Drymades village where the church is and started working a little after 4:00 am, tearing down the church. Negotiations of the previous days between the local faithful and authorities proved to be fruitless.

Drymades village residents woke up to the sounds of the demolition but were unable to react. All they could do was to pick up the holy relics and pieces left of the church.

According to municipal authorities, the Albanian government had given specific orders for the demolition of the church because it was standing on a site that had been declared a cultural monument.

Last week, police and Himare municipal workers had entered the Orthodox Holy Church of Saint Athanasios and attempted to remove objects and icons from the structure’s interior and tear down part of the roof with the justification that it had been illegally built.

Foreign ministry condemns demolition of Greek minority church
Greece’s foreign ministry on Wednesday reacted strongly to news that Albanian authorities had knocked down the Orthodox church of Agios Athanassios in the village Drimmades, in the Himare region of southern Albania.

Replying to questions, foreign ministry spokesman Constantinos Koutras noted that “the destruction of holy sites and objects of worship took place, at least until recently, in the wider region of the Middle East and North Africa, at the hands of jihadists. Today we also saw such an act carried out in our neighbouring country, Albania.”

Koutras said journalists will soon be informed about Greece’s actions in this instance, towards Albania and the international community.
“No further comment,” he concluded.


  • Mr Maverick

    No more albanians in Greece. The Greek goverment should deny entries to any albanians to Greece and all their properties shouldconfiscate all their assets here in Greece.

  • Virgilios Arvanitopoulos

    Albania is a nation. They have the right. Also respect their territorial integrity, the town is Dhermi not what you mention. Please respect the Albanian state.

  • Virgilios Arvanitopoulos

    Their country. Their laws. Their rights.

  • Samuel

    I am Albanian and Catholic and I find this behaviour by my government to be despicable. The reason the Church was torn down is because the government believes that it was built illegally. While the government in Albania has destroyed many illegally-built buildings it should have respected what this building represents and granted it proper documentation rather than tearing it down. Having said that, the government also argues that this Church has Catholic ties and as such will probably resurrect the Church to be Catholic rather than Orthodox. In my opinion this is a terrible idea as it will only encourage rivalry between the Catholic Albanians and Orthodox Albanians/Greeks living in the region. If the Albanian government wanted to restore Catholic churches they should take back those Churches that were turned into Mosques by the ottomans.

  • Al

    The usual misconception. It is not a Greek Orthodox Church, it is an Albanian Orthodox Church.

  • JonniOZ

    I think it was St George that said – If you want to associate with pigs then you’ve got to get into the mud.

  • JonniOZ

    Albania – a nation respect…?
    I believe that Albania is the only nation in Europe that actively harbours and encourages its own citizens to funnel the proceeds of crime through their country as a form of national income.
    That’s why Albania is a net exporter of cars.
    I don’t think there’s any car factories there though!

  • SoCalGreek

    God’s Laws and God’s Property is ABOVE Albania’s laws!

  • QOH

    It must be me… I actually understand the symbolism of the crows that attacked the doves and why the gull appeared the day the smoke rose.

  • Virgilios Arvanitopoulos

    Then you sir don’t know anything!