Valerie Plesch

Valerie Plesch writes for USA Today.

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Muslim Kosovars Rediscover Their Long-Forgotten Roman Catholic Roots

by Valerie Plesch 05-06-2015
Photo via Valerie Plesch / RNS

Catholics attend Christmas Eve Mass at Mother Teresa Cathedral in Pristina, Kosovo. Photo via Valerie Plesch / RNS

Under the Ottoman Empire, which ruled Kosovo from the early 15th century until 1912, most Albanian Kosovars converted to Islam.

But today, Jakaj and others are on a mission that they say reflects a renaissance of Catholicism in the country. Muslim Kosovars are supporting the effort, too, even though most of Brod is now Muslim.

“This is our history of our nation,” said Ademi, whose forefathers were Catholic.

“These are our first steps toward reclaiming our cultural heritage.”

U.S. Doctors Killed at Afghan Hospital Run by Christian Charity

by Valerie Plesch, by Kim Hjelmsgaard 04-25-2014

An Afghan security guard allegedly shot and killed three Americans at a hospital in Kabul on Thursday. The three killed were doctors, including a visiting father and son.

Another doctor and a U.S. nurse were wounded in the attack.

District Police Chief Hafiz Khan said a guard suddenly turned his weapon on the staff he was supposed to be protecting at Cure International Hospital and started shooting.

“Five doctors had entered the compound of the hospital and were walking toward the building when the guard opened fire on them,” said Kanishka Bektash Torkystani, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health. “Three foreign doctors were killed.”