What is the Kosova Protestant Evangelical Church?
The Kosova Protestant Evangelical Church (KPEC) is a Christian religious community of an Evangelical Protestant denomination. KPEC exercises its activity in the Republic of Kosova pursuant to provisions of the Law in force on the Freedom of Religion No 02/L-31 dated 13.07.2006, adopted by the Kosova Parliament and as amended and promulgated in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Kosova.
The Law on Freedom of Religion recognizes a total of five religious communities in Kosova. In section 5.4 of this Law it is stipulated:
“To all religions and their communes in Kosovo including Islamic Community of Kosovo, Serbian Orthodox Church, Catholic Church, Hebrew Belief Community, and Evangelist Church, shall be offered any kind of protection and opportunity in order to have rights and freedom foreseen by this law. Religious communities in Kosovo enjoy all the rights with this Law”.
In the aforementioned Law to the Protestant Evangelicals it is referred to as “Evangelist Church”. Regardless of the term used, it is important to recognise the fact that the word itself derives from the Greek word “Evangelios” meaning “Gospel”; whereas the word Gospel translates “Good News”.
Hence, Protestant Evangelicals, respectively KPEC is spreading the Good News of the Gospel of The Lord Jesus Christ among the population of Kosova.
Organizing structure of the KPEC
Local Protestant Evangelical churches carry different names. Such local churches, also referred to as “Members”, are autonomous either by their function or by their organizing structure and jointly make the formal religious community which is called The “Kosova Protestant Evangelical Church” (KPEC). KPEC has an ecclesiological organizing structure with its decision-making and executive bodies. The KPEC church hierarchy is formed in that way so it is doctrinally biblical and practically functional. At the local level, Protestant Evangelicals respect the autonomy of local churches in self governing its everyday church affairs. However, at the national level, KPEC bodies are: Assembly (Synod), Council of Ministers (Presbytery) and the Chairman.
The General Assembly (Synod)
The KPEC Assembly is the highest decision-making body in KPEC. The KPEC Assembly, which gathers once a year, is represented by representatives of all KPEC members. Each Evangelical entity – respectively local churches and organisations of Kosova – that are KPEC members, are represented by the Legal Representative and in his absence by the Authorised Person. The voting at the KPEC Assembly is carried as per principle ONE MEMBER – ONE VOTE.
The KPEC Assembly gathers once a year in its Annual Regular Assembly or more often in Irregular Assemblies. During the plenary sessions, which are chaired by the KPEC President of his/her designate, amongst other things Assembly brings decisions for the interest of the KPEC, such as acceptance and/or dismissing of KPEC members; application to become a member or pulling out from membership in organisations where KPEC is a member; possible statutory amendments; approves annual expenses and budget etc. The Assembly also elects with secret ballot the Council of Ministers (CM) – Presbyter and the President. CM members are elected with simple majority whereas President is elected with 2/3 of vote cast.
Council of Ministers (Presbyter)
The Council of Ministers (CM) – Presbyter is KPEC’s executive body which derived from the Assembly. CM has seven members and from the name itself it is understood that in such Council it is recommended to only be elected people that are already active in God’s ministry; respectively are serving in a position of a spiritual leader in a local church. Assembly mandates the CM with a four year mandate but every year CM may be refreshed with new members, depending on the movement of CM member.
Assembly itself maintains the election of CM members. Assembly members may nominate candidates to be elected as CM members or candidates themselves may volunteer to enter the list of candidates for the election. Upon completion of nominations, a list of candidates is brought for secret ballot. CM members can only be elected for two consecutive mandates.
After having received the blessing from the Assembly, CM in its first meeting following the KPEC General Assembly, from the elected CM members, elects the Secretary and the Treasurer. CM meets once a month in regular CM meeting and more often if required.
After CM members have been elected, Assembly then gets the list of candidates’ nominee for KPEC President. (KPEC President will also serve as Chairperson of the CM). Candidates for KPEC President must be a minister and must meet the criteria set in the Bible at 2 Timothy 3:1-14.
After presenting candidatures, the chairperson of Assembly proceedings brings into voting process the election of the President. The ballot is direct and secret. 2/3 of vote cast is required for election of the President for the next three year mandate. The KPEC President can only be a candidate and be elected for two consecutive mandates.
The KPEC President represents the institution of the KPEC before KPEC members and before other state and international institutions. President, together with the KPEC Secretary prepares Agendas for CM meetings. Secretary is the budget holder and deals with KPEC’s internal affairs whereas KPEC oversees the budget expenditure. Annual budget is brought before the Assembly for approval. Current KPEC President is Pastor Driton Krasniqi.