Kosovo Protestant Evangelical Church (KPEC) exercises its activities in the Republic of Kosovo pursuant to provisions in the Law since 2006. In a country where two main religions are Islam and Christianity with about 90% of population as Muslims, KEPC wish to be a creative minority which fully proclaims gospel of Christ by acts and words.
Driton Krasniqi, President of KPEC, with his wife Halide Krasniqi.
What are your vision and goals for the KPEC?
Kosovo is a predominantly Muslim society. However, culturally Kosovo lives in East of the West and in the West of the East. Over many centuries, our lands have been invaded by different armies who have left scars of their own in our society.
KPEC was founded out of a need for Kosovo Evangelical Christians to speak with a single unified voice before authorities. Over many years in the past, KPEC has made some significant progress in the area of representation. KPEC unites together 42 churches, church plants and Christian organizations in Kosovo.
During the last KPEC Annual Assembly (October 2011) there was a call coming from the Evangelical body that KPEC should also engage in the area of edifying the body. The KPEC Council of Ministers – as KPEC's leadership board – is going to organize regular exchange visits between KPEC member churches. As a result of the call from the Evangelical body there are two main areas where KPEC will play its role as an alliance that unites churches and Christian organizations, and in building leadership capacities and evangelism. Two separate committees are in the process of being formed that will seek to build a strategy to tackle such matters.
Assembly of Kosovo Protestant Evangelical Church in 2011
What can we thank God for, from this last month (or year)?
More members have joined KPEC in the last annual assembly where our voice has been made even stronger. As a result of the trust given by all members, evangelicals have been recognized by the Law on Freedom of Religion as adopted by the Parliament of the Republic of Kosovo. This is the first case of such kind in the Balkans and beyond where evangelicals are provided with the freedom of religion stipulated by the provisions of law.
Further, this last year the Kosovo government has created a working committee for the amendment of the aforementioned law. KPEC is part of the working committee. After the adoption of such amendments by the Parliament of the Republic of Kosovo, KPEC will be guaranteed the legal status of a traditional religion alongside the Islamic Community, Serbian Orthodox Church, Catholic Church and the Jewish Community, and we are very thankful that God has led us this far.
Do you have some examples of the positive impact the Alliance is making in your region?
There are many achievements of KPEC, however, the International Day of Prayer is the one worth mentioning for this interview. During the time when war was about to break out in Kosovo (in 1998), the small Evangelical body in those days launched the International Day of Prayer, Fasting and Giving for Kosovo. Our plea resulted in mobilizing many evangelicals around the world. January 31st of each year is the day when Evangelical believers in Kosovo and our brothers and sisters around the world join in prayer and intercession for Kosovo. A message is also sent to political leaders encouraging them to do their best for their country.
As part of our regional engagement, we plan to seek collaborations with other Evangelical Alliances in Kosovo’s neighboring countries. We seek to exchange experiences with other Alliances and organizations in the area of capacity building and evangelism.
Can you give me some examples of public engagement with your local community?
KPEC has managed to unite believers of all Evangelical denominations around joint projects. One of the main projects where KPEC has engaged in public is around Easter time. The KPEC Council of Ministers identifies one town that will be served during this season. Believers of all Evangelical denominations join in prayer, giving from their resources and time to help that particular town. Several Kosovo towns have been targeted over the past years, with the city Gjilan as the most recent one. During the whole week, believers dressed in yellow beautified the town, planted flowers and young trees, collected tons of food and clothing, distributing them to the needy, and visited the public hospital to donate blood for those whose lives are in danger. In the end, (on the Easter Sunday) all churches join together in one service at the public square.
Volunteers were working on beautifying the city by cleaning parks and planting new trees.
Volunteers during “Life for Kosovo 2011” initiative.
Do you know about the WEA Leadership Institute (LI) and all that it offers? Do you have any suggestions to make the LI courses easier to access from your region?
LI is one of the most practical courses on leadership. It’s been designed to address issues related mainly to strategy of building national alliances in order that they become more effective.
As stated above, KPEC was given the mandate by its members to work in the area of developing new leaders who will take the Gospel forward. If this course is translated into Albanian, it could serve well its purpose as it will be useful not only for Kosovo, but also for Albania and later on even for Albanians in Macedonia and other parts of the world where the Albanian language is spoken.
What other services from the WEA have been helpful to the Alliance this year?
KPEC has worked closely with EEA and WEA in the area of advocacy for evangelicals’ voice to be heard by Kosovo government.
What are some of your prayer requests that we can publish on the site?
January 31st of each year marks the call of the Evangelical Community to the church around the world to join in prayer and fasting as intercession for the people of Kosovo. It is 1999 when the war in Kosovo was about to break up when we launched the first call for prayer. Ever since, The Evangelical Community through its Alliance has shared prayer requests with churches around the world. For more details, please visit us online at www.kishaprotestante.net . Below are some prayer requests that you can join to pray for:
• Over one decade ago Kosovo went through a terrible war with its neighboring Serbia. February 2008 Kosovo declared independence from Serbia becoming the newest state in Europe. Please pray for long lasting peace and political stability in Kosovo.
• The economy in Kosovo is almost inexistent. Most products are imported. Official statistics for unemployment speak of 47% although it is argued that numbers are higher. Poverty rate is 40%, with extreme poverty at 17% (with $1 /day). Please pray for God’s provision for this nation.
• Corruption has become one of the biggest stumbling blocks for this nation. Transparency International Report 2011 has listed Kosovo high on the list of corrupt countries. Fragile Kosovo Institutions have been unable to fight this phenomenon. Please pray for God’s intervention.
• The majority of Kosovo’s population is Muslim (about 90%). Most Muslims are nominal and the society’s orientation is pro-Western. Over the last decade there’s been an increasing influx of missionaries from the Arab world who are teaching exclusivist Islam toward other religions. Please pray for Kosovo people to understand that political religion is not the solution – believing in God is the right practice of religion.
• KPEC is the unifying body of the Evangelicals in Kosovo with over 96% representation. Please pray for God’s wisdom over the KPEC leadership and for His provision for KPEC in a country where Sunday collections are nominal.
• KPEC is in the process of growth. This year we have brought three staff on board: KPEC Secretary, Public Relations Secretary and KPEC Administrator. All the three positions are opened by faith with people being self supportive. If you would like to help the KPEC, please write to us.
Could you provide a testimony of someone who has been positively affected by the work in the Alliance? Could you obtain a quote and a picture of that person?
“KPEC has been a great encouragement to me as a pastor because the Church to which I belong didn’t have strong identity. Now we have a name, and we are a part of something much bigger than ourselves, not only the global kingdom of God on a large scale but also part of the national Christian community of Kosovo through KPEC. To me, being a member of KPEC means knowing that you have people side by side with you. It means having a great spiritual supporter to which the Kosovo Church can address concerns as well as count on its advice and support. KPEC has been for me something helpful, and I know that as my ministry and its needs grow, I will find more advices, resources and experience among the members of KPEC.”
– Beqir Dema, Pastor in Training “Fellowship of the Saviour”, Podujeve, Kosovo