The operation of trespassing and looting that took place in the Monastery of Agios Georgios, in Examilia, near Agioi Saranda, has caused anger and indignation among the Orthodox of the region and the Greek Minority.
The operation began and continues in the heart of Holy Week, which leads many to speak of an organized persecution.
The issue does not only concern the encroachment of monastic property, environmental and urban planning violations. All this has been reported in the past.
The problem takes on pure characteristics of persecution because of the time chosen to carry out an organized invasion of monastic property.
The Orthodox experience the Holy Week and honor the Passion of the Lord with fervour, being led to the Cross and the Resurrection. For the most part, in an atmosphere of spiritual uplift, the Greek communities and parishes of the region happily await the return, even for a few days, of the residents who live and work in Greece.
During Easter, on the other hand, there is also the feast of Saint George, where believers from the wider region flock to the particular Monastery that honors his memory, and some aim precisely at discouraging them…
According to testimonies from the area of the Greek minority, the encroachments are carried out by a contracting company that is developing a tourist unit in the area. He obviously has full political cover to arbitrarily proceed with these encroachments.
It seems that in view of the local elections that will be held in about a month in Albania, interests are acting in an organized manner with the aim of terrorizing the minority and the Orthodox community.
According to residents, despair is what prevails as the people who are left are on the one hand living under mafia methods by groups that do business with government echelons and on the other hand they find that justice moves behind the scenes and without effect.
On the other hand, the saying of Archbishop Anastasios that the properties of the Church and its monasteries will be returned when they have been completely trampled is monumental. 32 years of at least formal religious freedom in Albania and Orthodox Easter but also 32 Good Fridays for the Orthodox and Greeks of the region.