Page 763 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 763

Morale in the villages is high and the birth rate is good. it is only thanks to this fact that despite the intensive per- manent departures in the post-war years, the total number of Orthodox (Serbs) in the Diocese is not less than before the war. in the year 1940 there were about 250,000; the number is the same today, which means that all the new growth has left. But in terms of percentage the balance has shifted to our detriment. The ratio of Orthodox to Mus- lims before the war was 1:2 but now it is 1:4.
although an agreement has been reached regarding the fence of the church in Kosovska Kamenica, i.e. that the church itself rebuild the wall that the post-war government destroyed in order to reuse the materials, personnel chang- es in the municipal assembly have brought new difficulties, a ban on further construction, etc.
During the occupation albanian Balists destroyed the roof on the small church in the village of Zupče near Ko- sovska Mitrovica and destroyed in completely. On several occasions the peasants have tried to repair it, the diocese executive Council intervened but as of today a permit has not been secured. in more than 20 years time has destroyed whatever remained.
a constant problem is the permanent departure of our population from all of Kosovo and Metohija. The tempo of this departure seemed to be somewhat reduced this year but the tendency of departure and the reasons for doing so remain the same; we can even say it has been reinforced. it is true that after the Fourth Plenum and the resulting reor- ganization of the Security Service explanations such as this for the departure of Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija are also being presently seriously: allegedly, this was done by Ranković and his clique so that the departure of Serbs would give them arguments against the albanians! To what ex- tent he deserves credit for the departures and to what ex- tent numerous other factors, we do not know for now. What we do know is that after the Fourth Plenum, the presented shortcomings of Ranković and other officials of the Secu- rity Services are being ascribed to Serbs in general, and that the situation now is even more difficult and serious.”60
Bishop Paul (Pavle) then informed the Holy Synod of Bishops of albanian attacks on church property:
“in addition to all other problems, with each passing day it is more and more difficult for us to protect our (church) property. Recently, local albanians have set their sights on the forests of the monasteries of Dečani, Gorioč and Devič, having already destroyed the forest of the mon- astery of St. Mark. just in the month of april of this year the diocese executive Council received four letters from Dečani regarding the destruction of the monastery forest. although this winter the authorities refused to allow the monastery to cut down trees in its own forest until a dis- pute with the albanians, who have of late been claiming that it is their forest, is solved, at the same time they have
60 AHSB, Syn No 12/1967.
Consecration of the reconstructed dormitory of the Patriarchate of Peć after being set on fire in 1981 by ethnic Albanian extremists
cut down 11 thick logs 8–10 meters in length and 123 thin- ner ones, which was merely observed and counted. in the middle of the day on May 18 this year, in the afternoon, the abbot and brothers found three albanians in the forest with a full wagon of logs and five other cut ones next to the wag- on. They were reported to police. a day earlier, a group of albanian minors aged 14–16 years used some sort of tool to dig through the 60 cm thick stone wall around the mon- astery estate, making an opening of 80 cm in diameter. Whether this was done with the intent to steal something or in order to disturb and worry in the sense of the advice we are frequently given: ’if you don’t like it—leave!’ or both, who knows?
The situation is similar with the forest of Gorioč Mon- astery where 4–5 wagons arrive in the middle of the day, cut down and take away. appeals to the Municipality and the police have not helped.
We have complained about all this to the Provincial au- thorities but without success.
During the 10 years that i have been in the Diocese, the situation has not changed. What i have written before re- mains completely valid today. The lack of younger priests and even more of priest-monks is quite apparent.
But even more fatal is the lack of Orthodox population because even what is left of it is constantly leaving. On sev- eral occasions the newspapers have written about this prob- lem, emphasizing that the motive for the permanent de- parture of Serbs is of an economic nature: seeking the pos- sibility of better employment, schooling of children, etc. This is true, especially since in Kosovo and Metohija we have the principle that employment must be proportional to the percentage of each nationality’s representation. Three-quarters of the population is albanian; therefore, they get priority consideration for 3/4 of available posi- tions. Since the Serbs have previously been over employed with respect to their percentage of representation because
The Suffering and Persecution in Kosovo and Metohija from 1945 to 2005

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