Macedonian Orthodox Christian church set alight

An Orthodox Christian church famed for its valuable icons was set alight in southern Macedonia overnight, authorities said Tuesday, as religious tension between Christians and minority Muslims grew over a carnival in which men dressed as women in burqas and mocked the Quran.

Hours before the fire, Muslim leaders had appealed for calm among community members.

The Jan. 13 Vevcani festival prompted angry, sometimes violent demonstrations by Muslims, who are nearly all ethnic Albanian and make up 33 percent of the country’s 2.1 million population and accuse the majority of stoking hatred.;_ylt=AnyZwAr5JkoHyu5cSK65LR87Xs8F;_ylu=X3oDMTQzYWdpcGs5BG1pdANUb3BTdG9yeSBVU1NGIFJlbGlnaW9uU1NGBHBrZwMxZjg2NzdmZi02NmQ5LTM4N2MtYThmMi05Zjg2ZGM0NWVlZTUEcG9zAzcEc2VjA3RvcF9zdG9yeQR2ZXIDNDRkOTZmYTAtNGMyZi0xMWUxLTk1N2YtZDQ5YmU0ODE3NzVl;_ylg=X3oDMTF2Y2VzZTFkBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdAN1c3xyZWxpZ2lvbgRwdANzZWN0aW9ucwR0ZXN0Aw–;_ylv=3

Although the Muslims of Macedonia have traditionally been secular, this has been changing during the past decade due to the proliferation of Wahhabi influenced schools.

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