His Holiness Bishop Jefrem of Banjaluka served divine liturgy on Tuesday over the consecration of the Church of St Cyril and Methodius in the Valleys of Ljubačevo, near Banjaluka; the ceremony was attended by Republika Srpska President Željka Cvijanović and Serb member of BiH Presidency.
In addition to concelebration by the priesthood of the Banjaluka Diocese, the bell tower of this log church in the Ethno-village Museum “Valleys of Ljubačevo” was consecrated.
On this occasion, Serb Presidency Member Milorad Dodik contributed BAM 500 to the church.
Bishop Jefrem of Banjaluka said that by consecrating this church, dedicated to Slavic teachers Cyril and Methodius, the ambience of the ethno-village in Ljubačevo was completed.
“The church is left to our people to remind them of some ancient times, i.e. how they lived in the past centuries, especially during the time of slavery. This should be presented to the internationals as well,” Bishop Jefrem said in his address.
He added that few log churches of that difficult times have been preserved, but that the Serbian Orthodox Church, with the help of faithful people, managed to restore them.
Bishop Jefrem recalled that log churches played a large role until freedom was reached.
“They were there to preserve the spiritual being and national consciousness of the people,” Bishop Jefrem said, thanking the endower for building the church.
Church endower Nedeljko Branković told the press he was delighted over the church being consecrated.
“The ethno-village has enriched and expanded its tourist offer with this church,” Branković said, referring to the church that houses 18th century icons and a bell from 1939 with a turbulent and interesting history.
Banjaluka City Assembly Speaker Zoran Talić said that the city and the ethno-village in Ljubačevo got on Tuesday a spiritual facility that will serve religious needs but will also expand the tourist offer.
The ceremony, organised by the Serbian Orthodox Javoranska Parish and the Ethno-Village Museum “Valleys of Ljubačevo”, is attended by Republika Srpska Minister of Interior Dragan Lukač and Police Director Darko Ćulum, numerous believers and officials from public and social life.