Kosovo crisis needs prayer

By March 23, 2004

Kosovo (MNN)–Kosovo declared a day of mourning in the wake of deadly sectarian attacks last week that killed 28, injured hundreds and left over two dozen churches destroyed.

Last week’s attacks were the worst outbreak of violence since 1999, when a NATO air war ended a Serb crackdown on ethnic Albanians seeking independence. The war killed 10,000 ethnic people.

NATO rushed extra troops into Kosovo to restore order. However, the area remains edgy. The unrest illustrates the depth of hatred between Kosovo’s mostly Muslim ethnic Albanians, who want independence, and Christian Serbs.

Ministry leaders immediately called a vigil for peace, safety and stability in their country. Baptist World Aid, the relief arm of the Alliance, has outreach through relief work in both Kosovo and Serbia. Reverend Bekim Beka, pastor of BWA affiliate, New Hope Baptist Church, Prishtina, Kosovo, has asked Baptists around the world to pray.

The church serves both as a worship center and a place of relief for refugees caught in the war between Serbs and ethnic Albanians. BWAid also has helped with relief work in Serbia through Love Your Neighbor in Vrnjacka Banja, Tabitha in Novi Sad and Bread of Life in Belgrade , where unrest has also broken out.

There is some concern the security issues may interfere with their work. Paul Montacute, BWAid Director says, “I do hope and pray that this raising of ethnic tensions can be held down before the Balkans are once again caught up in a maelstrom of death and destruction.”

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