Movement in Kosovo from Islam to Catholic Christianity

When the Ottomans came into the Balkans they levied crushing taxes on non-Muslims there (the famous jizya), and as a consequence many of the men of the families 'converted' to Islam. Now that they have freedom to be Christians, scores of people and indeed whole families are officially joining the Catholic Church in Kosovo.

There is a great article on it here from the Economist, which is a trustworthy news source I think:

If Don Zefi has his way, there will be a lot more in future. On Christmas Eve some 38 people were baptised in a single town, Klina. Conversions to Christianity have become common (though a cautious Catholic church does not give precise figures). Don Zefi says he knows of large numbers more in “tens of villages” who want to convert. 

He dislikes the word, because many of them come from a crypto-Christian background. Their forefathers may have converted to Islam under Ottoman rule, but behind closed doors they kept their old Catholic practices. Jahja Drancolli, a historian, adds that “religion has always been secondary” to being Albanian. Converts, he says, “want to return to the old religion they believe they had” and to show that they are “part of the Euro-American trend.” For every convert, anecdotal evidence suggests more go to church or are interested in Christianity.

Read it all HERE.

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