Page 769 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 769

in the last two years and lack of authorities among the con- stables, on the other hand.”
a transcript of this was forwarded to the Federal and Republic Commissions for Religious affairs in Belgrade with a request for “intervention with competent officials to protect Dečani Monastery from this violence and enable it to live an undisturbed life, which is presently threatened by the albanians.”70
in addition to this, His Grace Bishop Pavle (on Septem- ber 17, 1958, No 588) also sent the Commission for Religious affairs in Priština this petition:
“The administration of Dečani Monastery has submit- ted the following to us under No 44 from august 26, 1968:
Your Grace, we do not know what to do for attacks from neighboring albanian villages: Lauša, Rezalo, Vojvodići, Batale, etc. Not a day passes by that the shepherds from these villages, who are grown youths, do not allow their cattle to enter our corn, our orchards, meadows and gar- dens. We have asked them in a nice way [not to do this] but it is all useless. They enter the property, they cut up our squashes, puncture our watermelons, ride bicycles through the meadows, threaten the sisters, saying, ’What can you do and what do you want?’ When we capture their cattle, they pelt the sisters with rocks and take the cattle by force. This is horrible.
On august 24, 1968 the oxen of adem Deljaj from Reza- lo were caught in the corn and the sisters captured them; however, they came in the evening, forced their way into the barn and drove out the oxen. On august 25, 1968, the cattle of Muharem Deljaj from Rezalo were caught in the orchards, and that’s how it is every day. The shepherds of Vojvodići and Batale with them, it goes without saying, freely allow they cattle into the meadows as well as into the corn and everywhere else. We report this to the authorities but they are not afraid of anyone, they come and they threat- en, they appear with axes and threaten. We don’t know what to do. On august 24, 1968 the police came out to the scene and promised it would undertake measures but as of today everything is at a standstill. They also enter our vineyards, bringing their dogs so they can attack ours. They have picked all our peaches, they break off our grapes that have begun to mature as well as the green ones, it is a state of anarchy. We beg you to help us, what can we do.
We ask Your Grace to please be so kind and forward our request to the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade in the hope that the Holy Synod of Bishops can take actions with competent officials so that we and the other monasteries have at least some degree of protection from this now unbearable terror.”
We are forwarding the above report with a delay be- cause we were hesitant in this monastery (and not only in this monastery in Kosovo and Metohija) and after prom- ises by the President of the Provincial Commission for Re-
70 AHSB, Syn No 3477/zap. 621, Oct. 15, 1968.
ligious affairs in Devič Monastery itself on May 25, 1968, in the presence of the Commission for Religions of the So- cialist Republic of Serbia that necessary measures would be undertaken to prevent the inflicting of damage to the monastery by the destruction of fruits on the monastery property and permitting the entry of cattle into monastery field, destruction of orchards and fruits out of malice and attacks on the nuns themselves would reach its culmina- tion after the newest social reforms, either because it offers them greater daring to once again close this monastery by forcing the nuns to leave from the monastery, so they can destroy it again as they did during World War ii, or be- cause they have felt that security officials are not offering sufficient protection by punishing wrong-doers.
it is with regret that we must state that this monastery, which celebrated five hundred years of its existence en- slaved by the rule of the Ottoman empire, was ultimately destroyed to the foundations in 1941 by the residents of neighboring villages and that after enormous efforts for its restoration in a land that is now free, it is now without peace and freedom in constant fear for its life and in work whose fruits the neighbors destroy unpunished out of spite.”
The Holy Synod of Bishops also forwarded this corre- spondence to the Federal and Republic Commission for Religions in Belgrade.”71
His Grace Bishop Pavle also sent the Holy Synod of Bish- ops act No 612 from October 20, 1968 in which he said that an act with the following content was sent to the Commis- sion for Religious affairs of the autonomous Province of Kosovo in Priština:
“We received a report from Devič Monastery that on july 16 of this year two young men, passing next to the mon- astery building by the river, offered two bombs to child shepherds, urging them to toss the bombs on the monas- tery hay. When the children refused, the young men said that they would do it next time themselves. The sisters have reported the incident to police.
We have also been informed that visitors to the monas- tery on the feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy The- otokos (august 28) this year have complained that they were attacked with rocks by children of albanian national- ity as they were on their way to the monastery between Klina and Srbica, and Srbica and Lauša.
We have also been informed that damage is constantly being done by allowing cattle to enter the monastery prop- erty and crops. When the sisters capture the cattle, the own- ers arrive and free the cattle by force, threatening the sis- ters with knives (e.g. Djemail Hadžija and Vesel Rizahi from Rezalo on august 25, 1969).
We ask the Commission to undertake serious steps to prohibit such cases of threatening, intimidation and vio- lence, and that wrong-doers are found and held account- able in accordance with the Law.
71 AHSB, Syn No 3501/zap. 622, Oct. 15, 1968.
The Suffering and Persecution in Kosovo and Metohija from 1945 to 2005

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