Pastor Cakolli: We understand freedom as useful and constructive and not at the expense of the other

Under the auspices of the OSCE in AAB College in Prishtina, on March 21, 2017, for the students of this college was organized a debate with the topic: “interfaith dialogue and tolerance building including youth”

The debate was opened by deputy director of AAB College, and directed Mrs. Valbona Dërmaku National Adviser for Human Rights of the OSCE Mission.

Representative of the Kosova Protestant Evangelical Church Pastor Femi Cakolli to the students initially explained the 200 years presence of Protestantism among Albanians and the role that this community gave during the Renaissance such as the opening of Albanian schools, making the Albanian Alphabet, the publication of textbooks, etc. . This means that in this region has a very long tradition of accepting differences in others. We have had very fruitful cooperation always with all religious communities when the OSCE or any other organization has taken any initiative for dialogue or other actions.

Protestant Church urges society in general and the religious community for two fundamental values ​​such as the free will of the individual, family, group or society and the exercise of freedom in general. As Protestant Christians we understand freedom always in biblical definition and it it could be useful, constructive and not at the expense of the other. Everyone is guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Kosova to freely practice their faith or unbelief.

From a theological angle it is clear that God, whether Jew, Christian or Muslim, requires not to worship any other god, a false god, and it looks like a radicalism, but Jesus Christ teaches us that we must we love God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength as well as to love your neighbour as yourself. Throughout the history, humans have been often worried how to love God but have forgotten about humans beings.

I would like to re emphasize that faith or religion should be separate from the state and we require that this is implemented in all cases, and here we are reminded the biblical well-known passage: “That which belongs to Caesar give to Caesar and what belongs to God give to God”.

The youth of all Kosova’s religious communities have had many opportunities to engage in joint projects and has been a good experience to them all.

I would like to assure all the young people of this country that leaderships of all religious communities often meet with each other, talk, discuss about different topics and there is a dialogue and constructive communication between us without even initiating or involvement of any third party. The Balkans, where we live, has a long tradition of respect to minority groups of beliefs by the general population, even when this land is ruled by others. Such results were achieved led by principle of the heart “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

At the end of the debate the panellists answered questions from university students.

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