Page 759 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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ined. and the second patrol brought her. The police want- ed her to return to the monastery but i said that she had no place any more in Devič, and that i was afraid they would take her by force again and perhaps attack the monastery in the process, that there might be casualties. i begged that she be placed as a minor in a children’s home because she had no relatives anywhere; her mother is also a wanderer who goes from monastery to monastery. She could stay in the home until she reached adulthood. The monastery had to pay travel expenses and a day’s salary to Belgrade and back for an official of People’s Municipal Council of Srbica, who took her to the Moše Pijade Home in Belgrade, where she was lodged. i would add that the police took her for a physical examination and that she was not ruined. The com- mander filed charges against Simo Stanković, Gaši Malić and his minor brother but unfortunately this administra- tion has been informed by the Public Prosecutor in Kosov- ska Mitrovica that the complaint was rejected and advised that we file private charges with the court. We neither dare nor desire to sue because we are already afraid they will seek vengeance because they are vengeful.”51
The Year 1959
By act e. No 196 from May 12, 1959, Bishop Pavle then in- formed the Holy Synod of Bishops regarding the perma- nent departures of Serbs as follows:
“The situation in the monasteries has improved negli- gibly. Dečani was left with 30 hectares of land in accor- dance with the law: 15 hectares near the monastery but in such a way that in the middle of the land (left to the mon- astery) a relative of one high official received two hectares of orchards, while the other 15 hectares left is far from the monastery and to the side, land that no one will want to work, and the monastery cannot work it itself. The diocese executive council has agreed that the monastery should renounce these 15 hectares because they only raise the tax bracket on the other land. To this day the government has not concluded this matter, and the monastery owes tax for the year 1954 forward when this land was returned to it from the disbanded Farmers’ Cooperative. (...)
During the year 1958 two very terrible events took place. Namely, the albanians abducted a 12 year-old Serb girl from Devič,whohadbeenraisedinthemonasterysincetheage of two, and demanded that she wed either an albanian boy aged 12 or a man aged 34, who already had one wife. With difficulty the police managed to reclaim the child and trans- fer her to Belgrade to a home for minors. She could not return to the monastery because of the danger of abduc- tion and vengeance. Devič Monastery has been restored from ruins but is not fenced in. We must use all the powers at our disposal to ensure this is done.
51 AHSB, Syn No 121/1959.
There is another problem whose consequences could be catastrophic for those of us in this region. That is the constant permanent departures of our population. When i visited Devič this winter, the householders of the last three houses of the closest village, Ludovići, came and offered their land to the monastery for sale, or they will sell it to the albanians. in Turkish times, before World War i, there were 17 houses in that village and an equal number of albanian ones. after the (other) war, several households left. after the last war, six remained. Now the last three are leaving. The same thing is happening in other areas. in Vitomirica near Peć, which was settled after World War i, there was not a single albanian house. Now there are 100. in Dobruša before the war, there was not one, and now there are 160 (albanian ones), etc (...).
Last year there was an incident of brutal violation of the fundamental rights of the faithful guaranteed by law. in the village of Suvi Lukovac near Peć, two men, Dimitrije and Dragutin Šundić from Djurakovac, were sentenced to 15 days in prison for attending, along with others, religious services in the ruins of a chapel and circling around the church, not through the village but around the ruins. Their appeal was rejected by the Council for Crimes in Priština with the explanation that church ruins are not facilities that religious communities can establish, in the spirit of article 13 of the Law on religious communities for the con- duct of religious rites. although the sentences were served, i complained to the Regional Council because of this treat- ment of us Serbs. We cannot believe that the legislator in the aforementioned article sought only to prevent the Or- thodox Serbs from conducting religious services because our churches were destroyed because of our position on freedom both in Turkish times as well as in the last two wars, which was not the case with the churches of the oth- er two faiths, which have places where they pray to God. if we are nevertheless to be considered guilty on this account, then the priest should have been punished as well, and i, too, as the representative of higher ecclesiastical authority who ordered that religious services be conducted on the ruins of churches destroyed by Ustashe and Turks (...).
The other general difficult is pressure, through schools and other organizations, on the consciences of children and adults due to which the Serbs of this region are frightened anddonotdaretoexpresstheirreligioussentiments.”52
The Year 1960
Bishop Pavle by act No 164 from May 7, 1960 then present- ed the following:
“1) The reparation of the chapel in the village of Zupče, municipality of Zubin Potok, near Kosovska Mitrovica, is being obstructed. During the occupation the enemy re- moved the roof tiles and roof frame from the chapel. Only
52 AHSB, Syn No 2/1959.
The Suffering and Persecution in Kosovo and Metohija from 1945 to 2005

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