Sandzak: Oldest Orthodox church in Balkans defaced

NOVI PAZAR — A 9th century Serb Orthodox Church in Novi
Pazar was last night sprayed with offensive graffiti.

The priests at the St. Peter church reported this to the police and then
informed the media. It is unclear from Beta news agency’s report if ethnic
or religious intolerance was behind the incident.

The church walls were sprayed with offensive and vulgar messages, the
priests said, and asked the police to urgently apprehend the perpetrator or
perpetrators, which remain unknown.

Meantime the Riaset, the seat of the Islamic Community of Serbia, led by
Adem Zilkic, condemned this incident in the strongest terms, it was

The Riaset added that a desecration of any religious structure “sows the
seeds of unrest”, and that, “according to the Koran”, it is “worse sin than

The Riaset also stressed it has good relations with the Serbian Orthodox
Church (SPC), and condemned the incident that took place in the multi-ethnic
Sandzak, saying that “those who did it do not mean well to their people”.

“Bosniaks and Serbs have for years shared this common space by living in
peace and tolerance, successfully resisting all temptations so far,” the
Islamic organization said.

The St. Peter (Svetog Petra) church in Novi Pazar was built in the 9th
century, and is the oldest Orthodox church in the Balkans.

Source: B92


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