Catholic Church in Kosovo

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Catholicism in Kosovo, 2011 census.

The Catholic Church has a population in Kosovo[a] of approximately 65,000 in a region of roughly 2 million people. Another 60,000 Kosovar Catholics are outside the region, mainly for work.[1] They are mainly ethnic Albanians, with a few Croats.

One of the oldest Catholic Churches in Kosovo is the Catholic Church of Vinarc, in Mitrovica.[2][3] The Diocese of Prizren-Priština (until 5 September 2018 as an Apostolic Administration of Prizren) is the ecclesiastical circumscription of the Catholic Church in Kosovo. It is centered in the city of Prizren. Bishop Dodë Gjergji serves as diocesan bishop as of 2018. Archbishop Juliusz Janusz, 66, originally a priest of the Archdiocese of Krakow, Poland, is the Apostolic Nuncio to Slovenia and the Apostolic Delegate to Kosovo; he had served previously as Apostolic Nuncio to Hungary and before that as Apostolic Nuncio to Mozambique and Rwanda.

As of 2018, the Holy See does not recognise Kosovo as a sovereign state (see also Holy See's reaction to the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence).


Kosovo conflict (1998-1999)[edit]

During the Kosovo war, vandalisation of Kosovo Albanian Catholic churches occurred.[4] The Catholic Church of St Anthony located in Gjakovë had major damage done by Yugoslav Serb soldiers.[5] In Prishtinë, Yugoslav Serb officers ejected nuns and a priest from the Catholic church of St. Anthony and installed aircraft radar in the steeple which resulted in NATO bombing of the church and surrounding houses.[4]


See also[edit]

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Kosovo Albanians
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Origins · History


a. ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has received formal recognition as an independent state from 113 out of 193 United Nations member states.


  1. ^ "In Kosovo, whole families return to Catholic faith" 9 February 2009 Link accessed 21 March 2010
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Schwartz, Stephen (2000). Kosovo: Background to a War. London: Anthem Press. p. 161. ISBN 9781898855569.Schwartz 2000, p. 161. " Albanian Catholic churches were also vandalized. Riedlmayer learned that Serb officers had installed anti-aircraft radar in the steeple of St. Anthony's Catholic church in Prishtina, after ejecting the priest and nuns; NATO bombing of the radar, and therefore the church and surrounding houses, would have been labelled an atrocity."
  5. ^ Bevan, Robert (2007). The Destruction of Memory: Architecture at War. Reaktion books. p. 85. ISBN 9781861896384. "Major damage to the Roman Catholic church of St Anthony in Gjakova, reportedly bombed by NATO, was actually committed by Serbian soldiers."