Page 423 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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remaining monasteries (Peć, Dečani, Gračanica) are enough” for the Serbs (!) apparently to assuage their own guilty con- science because under their protection, the Serbian people and Church have suffered the destruction and torching of over 110 churches and monasteries. Consequently repre- sentatives of UNMiK recently stated that these Serbian Monasteries “should be placed under the jurisdiction of Priština,”i.e.oftheverypeoplewhowanttoseetheseHoly Shrines disappear as soon as possible!
History of the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija
During the great migration of the indo-european peoples, the Serbs finally settled in the region of present-day Koso- vo and Metohija in the 7th century and soon thereafter, by christening and establishing a church, i.e. by becoming a part of Christ’s Church, they became a part of the Chris- tian civilization of Orthodox Byzantium. From Byzantium the Serbs inherited, among other things, the God-pleasing and compassionate tradition of the building of endow- ments—the raising of churches and monasteries for God and the people “that Divine Liturgy may be served in them of this world and the next” and the tradition of all-peoples’ gatherings, assemblies and religious services in these holy abodes of God and the people, as well as the comprehen- sive cultural education of the people in and around these Holy Shrines, and the God-loving practice of ascetic life nearer or further to these Holy Shrines in isolated places and caves. in addition to churches and monasteries, the building of endowments also included the building of hos- pitals, orphanages, bridges, spring wells and other philan- thropic endowments. Since the time of the christening of the Serbs (final christening in the middle of the 9th century) to the present day, this has all continuously existed in Ser- bian Kosovo and Metohija. This is attested to by the afore- mentioned 1,300 churches and monasteries, sites of for- mer churches and monasteries, ascetic retreats and prayer retreats in Kosovo and Metohija, especially around Priz- ren, Peć, istok, Klina, Čičavica, Novo Brdo, and Pomorav- lje. just in the area of Mt. Čičavica, justifiable called the “Serbian Holy Mountain,” Turkish censuses from 1525–6 and 1544–5 listed “a total of 52 monasteries and churches ” So far 36 former sites of churches have been found while “there is a traditional belief among the Serbian and Alba- nian people that on Čičavica there are 77 springs, 77 streams and 77 churches” Similarly, the city of Prizren has 26 church- es in almost half of which religious services continue to be held until the arrival of NaTO (and since the arrival of NaTO out of a population of 8,500 Serbs barely 60 remain in Prizren!15) as well, the village of Velika Hoča in Podrim-
MeMORaNDUM onKosovoandMetohija
lje alone still has 12 churches; most of them dating back to the Middle ages, and seven of them continue to function even to- day. all this is quite enough to explain our Serbian, neither “mythological” nor “mythoma- niac” but Christian Orthodox historical and eschatological connection to Kosovo and Me- tohija.
if it still means anything to
the enlightened Western world,
we again remind that among the
endowments of Kosovo and
Metohija there are many out-
standing church, religious and
cultural monuments, artistic
achievements and spiritual at-
tainments such as the Peć Pa-
triarchate, Visoki Dečani, Gra-
čanica and the Mother of God
of Ljeviša, the likes of which are
rare in the entire spiritual and
cultural heritage of the world.
These monuments are price-
less in terms of their artistic val-
ue and as such they are part of
the general legacy of humanity;
therefore, all enlightened indi-
viduals and peoples of the mod-
ern world should protect them unless they plan to return history to the primeval forest (or afghanistan or iraq).
The Serbs, therefore, have been present in the region of Kosovo and Metohija since the moment of the arrival of the Slavs in the Balkans, and they formed the great major- ity of the population there throughout the entire Middle ages and in the modern age on which there exists indis- putable and abundant evidence (archeological finds, linguis- tic with Slavic names of settlements and regions, anthropo- geographical, historical and clerical evidence), which it is not necessary to present here in detail.16
in one night only (March 17–18) all Serbian cultural heritage in Prizren which survived centuries of Ottoman occupation was set on fire and turned into ashes, despite NaTO presence and the UN Mission.
16 We have already mentioned that as early as 1987, i.e. prior to S. Milošević’s coming to power, the Serbian Orthodox Church, in col- laboration with 30 eminent scientists and experts, published a mon- umental book of documents, ZADUŽBINE KOSOVA—Spomenici i znamenja srpskog naroda (ENDOWMENTS OF KOSOVO—Monuments and insignia of the Serbian people), Prizren-Belgrade, 876 pp.; and sub- sequently an abridged version of this monograph in four major lan- guages: english, French, German and italian. This capital work of documents about the Serbian character of Kosovo and Metohija was neither supported nor promoted in the world by Tito’s Communists or Milošević’s neo-Communists; moreover, it was consciously dis-
 The Sarcophagus lid
of Patriarch Maksim,
with an inscription and ornament, 1680, the Patriarchate of Peć
  During the March pogrom (17–19 March 2004) all remaining Serb homes in Prizren were burned down by Kosovo albanian mob. Thirty remaining Prizren Serbs found refuge in a nearby KFOR base. During the riots all Orthodox churches in Prizren, including those built in the fourteenth century were burned or seriously damaged by extremists.

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