• Number of the week: 66 and 80

    GIF: Karolina Uskakovych, European Focus.

    North Macedonia is blessed with beautiful Orthodox Churches and Mosques. But sometimes, religion in this secular country can become too intrusive on the public space.

    A 66-metre-high Orthodox cross overlooks the capital Skopje. Built in 2002 to mark two millennia of Christianity, this cross instils a sense of pride in some, but for others it is a prime example of megalomania, including for many Muslims who live in Skopje.

    The second largest religion, Islam, has also drawn criticism. People have complained about the noise coming from the mosques’ loudspeakers. I measured a staggering 80 decibels during the afternoon prayer in Skopje’s Cair municipality. The legal limit is only 45 decibels of noise.