Page 756 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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Protopresbyter-stavrophor Savo B. jović
dents of Duganjevo built a building they intended to trans- form into a chapel, although they have a church only two kilometers away. This new building was never completed. it was never consecrated in order to perform religious rites in it and it served as a warehouse. Now the local residents have changed their intent, and believe that it is more useful to destroy this building and use the material to build a cul- ture hall. The parish priest of Uroševac did indeed inter- vene with the Regional People’s Council aKMO to prevent this building from being destroyed but the District People’s Council could not intervene, since the destruction of the building was already completed at the time that the inter- vention was sought. if the property interests of the church have been harmed, it is free to assert its rights through reg- ular channels and seek compensation.”45
The Year 1954
In his act E. No 406 from March 27/14, 1954, Bishop Vladi- mir yet again informs the Holy Synod of Bishops of diffi- culties in his Diocese and says:
“We have observed that there are still acts based on self-will carried out by government officials toward church property. There are frequent instances of apportionment of high taxes, confiscation of church land parcels and build- ings. a monastery building has been confiscated in the vil- lage of Dečani. in Peć people have been prohibited from using the entrance from the main street to enter the chapel, the church offices and the parish home, and are required to use another entrance from a side street even though the main entrance is owned by the church. in the village of Ljubižda the People’s Council is using a church building for its offices but pays no rent. When rent was requested, the Council brought the church’s ownership into question. Since there is no deed and no one wants to receive wit- nesses to prove the church’s ownership even though it is a well-known fact, thus matters remain. These are just some of many examples.
The situation in the monasteries is hardly better (...). Devič Monastery is slowly but surely being raised from the ruins. The living quarters have been built and the destroyed church repaired. (...)Visoki Dečani Monastery was assessed an especially high tax, as was Devič. Visoki Dečani Monas- tery was apportioned such a high tax, 176,000 dinars, that there is no way it can pay it from its regular income but is forced to sell some of its real or movable property in order to pay the outstanding taxes. an appeal did not help (...). The property situation of the monastery is not in the best state. During the confiscation of the monastery property, the tillable land next to the monastery was taken away, and the monastery was left with 15 hectares of untillable land 15 kilometers from the monastery. Devič Monastery was forced to buy land because almost all of its land was confiscated
45 AHSB, Syn No 3/1952/60. 754
by agrarian policy. For these reasons none of the monas- teries has any savings, and their incomes are barely cover- ing their expenditures. Only two monasteries, Devič and Holy Trinity, have managed to build one residence each.”46
Bishop Vladimir then says: “in connection with the Ho- ly Synod of Bishops’ notice No 2578/zap. 832 from Novem- ber 10, 1954, we are pleased to submit the following report:
1. The following has been expropriated from Devič Mon- astery:
a) 2.36 hectares of untillable land in Velika Hoča, dis- trict of Prizren, which has been planted with a vineyard by the Peasants’ Cooperative in Velika Hoča without any com- pensation;
b) Three shops in Vučitrn with compensation of about 50,000 dinars, which as of this day has not been paid;
2. From Visoki Dečani Monastery the building called Centrala in the village of Dečani by ’some sort of decision’ by the District Council in Djakovica from 1945 which was not sent to the monastery administration, and without any compensation by the People’s Council of the Dečani Municipality. a court complaint has been initiated but to this day the court has not issued a decision and continues to postpone;
3. From the church parish in Prizren a land parcel was confiscated next to the church of the holy Bogorodica Lje- viška without a decision or compensation, and the court- yard of the Cathedral as well as the courtyard of the Bish- op’s residence for a park. The church in fact has no objec- tion to the fact that a park was planted there and is cared for by the People’s Council of the municipality of Prizren but it cannot accept its expropriation because it is a small land parcel 10 meters wide right next to the north doors of the Church. The delegate of the Commission for Religions in Belgrade and the delegate of the People’s Council of the municipality of Prizren and the church parish in Prizren have found a compromise solution but it appears that the People’s Council of the municipality of Prizren has failed to adopt it;
4. expropriated from the church in Priština are two shops of hard material with a land parcel of 27 square meters in Nićiforova Street No 79 with compensation of 7,815 dinars in government coupons;
5. expropriated from the church in Vučitrn is a land parcel of 0.0571 hectares with compensation of 11,590 di- nars, which has not been paid. the People’s Council of the municipality of Vučitrn has built a residential building on this land parcel.
6. The church of Berevac in the district of Nerodimlje has given a land parcel for the building of a school under the condition that the church be compensated for the val- ue of same but the People’s Council of the municipality in Štrpce has not done so to this day;
46 AHSB, Syn No 111/1954.

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