Out of hiding, some Kosovars embrace Christianity





Hundreds of Kosovar Albanians gather on Sundays to attend religious services in a still unfinished red-brick church in the Kosovo town of Klina.

Turning away from the majority Muslim faith imposed by the Ottoman Turks centuries ago, these worshippers are part of a revival of Catholicism in the newly independent Balkan state....

Around 90 percent of Kosovo's Albanian population is Muslim, with just four percent Roman Catholics. The country is also home to dozens of medieval Serbian Orthodox monasteries and churches.

The area that is now Kosovo was conquered by Rome before the Christian era and later ruled for centuries by Christian Bulgarians and Serbs. It became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1455.

Under the Ottomans, many Catholics converted to escape the new taxes or qualify for jobs and advancement in the Muslim-ruled society.

In staunchly Catholic families, often in villages with a strong social network, men converted publicly but continued to practice Christianity at home.


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