Page 768 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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Protopresbyter-stavrophor Savo B. jović
boring villages of Lauša, Rezalo, Vojvodići, Batale. Hardly a day passes that their shepherds, grown youths and men, do not allow their cattle to enter our fields, meadows, orchard, vineyard. We have asked and implored them in a nice way but all in vain. They force their way onto our property, de- stroy our gardens and crops, and on top of that threaten the sisters and pelt them with rocks. They say, ’what can you do and what do you want? Your time is past, move away from here!’
When we find their cattle causing damage and capture it, they come and force their ways into our barns to take away their cattle. Some of them even come in front of the monastery and argue with us about cattle and damages but with an ax in their hands. We report all this to our local state officials but our reports do not result in any sanctions or repercussions, which makes the aggressors even more arrogant and insolent. This arrogance and insolence goes so far that some of them—unfortunately, we do not know who—has spread rumors throughout all of Drenica and even all of Metohija how they, the albanians, supposedly killed and cut up abbess Paraskeva out of vengeance. This news spread as if carried by the wind and consequently many of our peasants from Peć, Mitrovica, Vučitrn, Prišti- na, Uroševac, Dečani and even from afar have come to the monastery to see for themselves. even abbess Fevronija from the holy Peć Patriarchate came for this reason. Gen- erally speaking, we have the impression that something dark and evil is happening, of systematic terror whose goal is expressed in the words of the violent actors themselves. Those words, for us truly dark and portentous, follow al- most every one of their ’accomplishments’ like a refrain. They are brief but all too clear: ’this place is no longer yours! Move away from here, what are you waiting for?’
in all honesty, these are not just rare individual attacks but general insecurity and violence, following from the fact that all other monasteries on the territory of Kosovo and Metohija are under the same or similar pressure, as well as our faithful in the cities and especially in the villages throughout the Kosovo flatland and tame Metohija.
Because of all this we are addressing Your Holiness and beg you on our knees to take action personally and through the Synod with competent officials of higher state authori- ties so that we and our people here can get at least some degree of protection from this intolerable terror.
Most warmly and most humbly thanking Your Holi- ness in advance, begging for your holy archpastoral bless- ing and prayers, kissing your Holy right hand, we remain always the loyal obedients of Your Holiness.”
Upon the recommendation of His Holiness Patriarch German, a transcript of this letter was submitted to:
- the Federal Commission for Religions,
- the Republic Commission for Religions of the Social- ist Republic of Serbia,
- Djurica jojkić, president of the executive Council of the Socialist Republic of Serbia and
- Mr. Miloš Minić, president of the Republic assembly of the Socialist Republic of Serbia,
with a request for the protection of church and mate- rial property, monks and nuns, as well as our faithful in the region of Kosovo and Metohija.”69
President of the Serbian assembly Miloš Minić re- sponded to the Serbian Patriarch on September 23, 1968:
“i have received your letter of September 16, 1968, with enclosures. The president of the Republic executive Coun- cil, comrade Djurica jojkić, received from you a letter of the same content and i have been informed that he has given orders to competent officials to investigate the inci- dents to which your letter relates and act in accordance with the law.
Confirming receipt of your letter i also wish to inform you that it is my opinion that what the president of the Re- public executive Council has done is sufficient to establish the real situation and undertake necessary steps in the event it is established that it is necessary to undertake necessary steps for the protection of the law.”
in his petition (No 600 from September 17, 1968) sent to the Commission for Religious affairs of the autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija His Grace Bishop Pavle wrote the following:
“This year especially since the feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos to today the damage is visible and inconsiderate. around august 29 the albanians drove 18 head of cattle into the monastery meadow. We captured the cattle to charge for the damage. They took advantage of a moment when we were serving, forced open the gate and drove away the cattle. i filed a report with the National Po- lice in Dečani. every day albanian youths aged 25 years and less mercilessly steal from our property. They pick wal- nuts, apples, plums and pears. So far they have halved our crop. What is worst of all they come with bags and steal our corn and then sell it to those who roast the ears whole and then sell them. They have not done this in the past. On September second our guard Miodrag Lazarević and nov- ice Svetomir Popović captured known thief Muškolaj Čauš (age 18) who has a gang of 15 youths under the age of 15 on the monastery property. When called to come down from a fruit tree and leave, he tried to attack them with a knife with the worst of insults. in such a situation they were forced to resist him. This young man has been reported many times for the theft of monastery timber. all for nothing. There are many of those whose names we cannot know because they run away. That is the situation and there is no help from anywhere.
it is our honor to submit the above for your informa- tion with the request that a halt be put to the theft of fruit from the monastery property, which is the result of the ineffectiveness of the constables on the one hand, the ar- rogance of the thieves, which has been especially evident
69 AHSB, Syn No 3055/zap., Sep. 6, 1968.

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