Page 430 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 430

Bishop atanasije (jevtić)
 Serbian donors to these and other monasteries from doz- ens and hundreds of villages with their priests and parish- ioners. Thus, just the Devič katastih lists at least 200 Serbi- an villages with their parishioners and their own priests as donators to this popular and highly respected great Ortho- dox Holy Shrine, the resting place of St. ioanichius (Sv. joa- nikije) the Miracle-Worker of Devič. But no matter how vital and resilient the Serbian people were, enduring great persecution and suffering, nevertheless the pressures and terror campaigns of “the wild albanians” and the lawless ismailites, the Turks continued and grew worse, as did in- dividual, family and group flights from our tragic Kosovo and Metohija, regarding which the number of written and moving testimonials increases. One of the permanent char- acteristics of Serbian continuity in Kosovo and Metohija is support and assistance, as well as renewal after destruction of their Christian Holy Shrines, churches and monasteries. However, by the same token the continuity of the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija became increasingly characterized by the suffering and migrations of the Serbs, followed by their subsequent returns to their heritage and native land whenever it was possible.
according to calculations by historians and anthropo- geographers during the course of the 18th and 19th centuries approximately half a million people were relocated from Old Serbia into the territory of Serbia north of Kosovo and
Metohija and other, more westerly Serbian districts. The most numerous migrations were connected with the wars between Serbia and Turkey at the beginning of the 19th cen- tury (Karageorge’s and Miloš’s rebellions in 1804 and 1815, respectively) and during the years 1876–78 at the time of the Serbian-Turkish wars when the liberation began to draw nearer to Kosovo, especially after the Berlin Congress of 1878. at that time the persecution of the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija was almost completely like their persecution and suffering in Kosovo and Metohija today.
The Kosovo and Metohija migration wave was one of the oldest, and it has lasted longest, until the present day. We will mention only, by way of example that entire dis- tricts in Kosovo and Metohija that were both emptied of Orthodox Serbs or islamized and thus lost for Serbdom during this time, regarding which we have reliable data. Thus, during the course of the 18th and in the first decades of the 19th centuries the district of Gora in Šar-planina was completely islamized while its residents—the Goranci— still speak only the Serbian language. Likewise, only a little earlier, the fertile district of Drenica west of Kosovo and the regions of Prekoruplje (from Klina toward Lapušnik and Mališevo) and Medjuvodje in Metohija were islamized while the habitants of these regions until recently knew the Serbian language as well as albanian. These islamized and subsequently albanized Serbs, who were known to have
The Great Serb Migration, Paja jovanović, 1896

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