Page 436 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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Bishop atanasije (jevtić)
according to the Communists at that time) which were ac- companied and reinforced by even greater demonstrations by albanian masses throughout Kosovo and Metohija, on the night of March 16, that is, on Orthodox Sunday, alba- nian arsonists set fire to the Peć Patriarchate (the large two- story monastery residence hall, 60 meters long, where there were 30 nuns of the sisterhood, as well as outside visitors, clergy and laypersons) and the Communist authorities from Priština and Belgrade at the time covered up the incident for a full year. after this crime, the Yugoslav government and the global community were sent an APPEAL for the protection of the Serbian population and its holy shrines in Kosovo and Metohija signed by 21 priests and priest-monks from throughout the Serbian Patriarchate including, of course, Kosovo and Metohija, in which the problem of the Serbian Church and people in Kosovo and Metohija was presented in an exceedingly sincere and honorable man- ner. We cite only the concluding words from this appeal: “God is our witness and our conscience: we wish the alba- nians no ill but we only wish to preserve our people and our Holy Shrines in Kosovo, for our sake and for their sakes... We wish everything God for the albanian people, as God himself knows.38 However, the authorities at that time not only remained deaf to our appeal but persecuted some Serbs because of it and some Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija were beaten and imprisoned simply for having and distributing this Appeal. Senior Communist officials from Belgrade as well as from Sarajevo, Zagreb and Novi Sad publicly attacked its signatories and the Serbian for “meddlinginpolitics.”ThepoliticsinKosovoandMetohija was anti-Serbian and pro-albanian, which is why the al- banians do not complain about the Tito regime and the period of Communism in Kosovo and Metohija from which Serbs suffered the most.
Kosovo and Metohija under the neo- -Communist Regime of Slobodan Milošević
Under the Milošević regime and from 1990 onward, when the albanians withdrew from the remaining symbolic in- stitutions of the Republic of Serbia, the emptying of many Kosovo and Metohija villages and settlements of Serbs also continued; and now under NaTO and UNMiK most vil- lages and settlements and almost all cities (with the excep- tion of the north part of Mitrovica) have been emptied; con- sequently, of approximately 300,000 remaining Serbs and Gypsies during the second half of june and july 1999 two- thirds were expelled and the remaining one-third is con- stantly under attack and existentially threatened, without the right to defend itself and despite futile attempts to ob- tain from anyone real protection for lives, homes, proper- ty, its holy shrines and cultural and national monuments.
38 This Appeal, which was written and sent long before the appear- ance of Slobodan Milošević, is included with this Memorandum.
a delegation of the Serbian Church headed by then Bish- op from Kosovo and Metohija and now Serbian Patriarch Pavle testified on april 24, 1999 before the U.S. Congress, where the representatives of the Kosovo albanians headed by Mr. ibrahim Rugova were twice as numerous. This state- ment has been published in both english and Serbian lan- guages, and reflects the truly Christian and democratic po- sition of our Church toward the Kosovo problem.39 in this statement before the U.S. Congress and in general during those years before the global community the Serbian Church was highly critical of Milošević and his undemocratic re- gime. We mention only the Memorandum of the Holy as- sembly of Bishops from their session held May 14–27, 1992, which was hailed by the european community at the time because of its Christian and democratic position. We cited two sentences from the Memorandum:
The Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian people have never been adherents of Godless Communism nor any other totalitarian ideology... The Serbian Church openly disassociates and distances itself from this and such a gov- ernment and its advocates We wish to remind all in power, especially in Serbia, that no one’s chair is more important than the fate and freedom of the entire people and that no one has a monopoly over the people and the future of our children... We also appeal to all authorities in Serbia and all factors in Europe and the world that the rights and re- sponsibilities of all who live in Kosovo and Metohija may be respected, and also that solutions are not imposed under pressure from any side; instead, that there is true support for a compassionate and just democratic order that will give protection to all people and nations in this region, which because of its spiritual, national and cultural significance is to the Serbian people what Jerusalem is for the Jews”40
instead of really working on and resolving the Kosovo problem in a constitutional manner, Milošević’s neo-Com- munist and undemocratic regime by its essentially monopar- tite, neo-Communist manipulations of the Serbian nation- al tragedy “from Kosovo to Jadovno” by working in the re- verse direction and through its own corruption only made it possible for the albanians to bribe and lobby their way (through funds received from the drug mafia and who knows what other sources) to internationalizing their propaganda regarding their alleged “endangerment” from “Greater Ser- bian hegemonism” (a propaganda slogan first launched and continuously used by the Communist totalitarian, exception-
39 From this text we cite only this sentence: “The Serbian people and the Church in Kosovo has far more real reasons for dissatisfac- tion toward the Communist government but Serbs are not using their misfortunate and dissatisfaction against their albanian neigh- bors with whom they seek to live in peaceful coexistence, respecting their ethnic and religious identity.” (See Hieromonk atanasije jevtić, Stradanje Srba na Kosovu i Metohiji 1941–1990 (The Persecution of the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, 1941–1990), Priština, 1990, pp. 444–451).
40 The entire Memorandum was published in the Glasnik (Herald) of the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate, No 6, june 1992, pp. 94–97; it has been translated and published in english as well.

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