Page 777 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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’On my part it has been several years that i have been informing you that children of albanian nationality are at- tacking our woman when they visit the ruins of the church of St. Nicholas in Gornja Mahala. The children continue to carry out attacks on our people when they visit these ruins on May 21–22 and December 18–19 [the Transfer of the Relics of St. Nicholas and St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, respectively].’
Forwarding the above, we ask the Commission for Re- ligious affairs to do what is necessary to finally bring an end to these inhumane actions, such as the desecration of cemeteries. We note that we have been told by elderly men and women with sadness that not even during the time of Turkish rule were such things done when they visited the aforementioned church.”
a transcript of this was forwarded to the Federal reli- gions commission and the Commission for Religious af- fairs of SR Serbia with the request that everything neces- sary be undertaken to protect our faithful from constant unpleasantries and harassment inflicted upon them by al- banians on the territory of Kosovo.85
Bishop Pavle of Raška and Prizren, by act No 514 from November 7, 1971, informed the Holy Synod of Bishops that he received the following report from the administra- tion of the church parish in Uroševac under No 46 from july 21, 1971:
“On july 12, 1971, the church in the village of Babljak dedicated to the Holy Trinity was broken into and on that occasion the chalice for Holy Communion valued at 800 dinars and change in the amount of 13 dinars was stolen.
On july 13, 1971, the church in the village of Štimlje ded- icated to the Holy archangel Michael was broken into and on that occasion the padlock on the front door was cut with a razor saw.
The sexton was unable to determine if anything from the church had been stolen.
On july 14, 1971, the church of the Most Holy Theoto- kos in Gornje Nerodimlje was broken into, on that occa- sion the entrance doors were damaged, a small polilei was broken, a copper basin and about 20 dinars of money were stolen.
We are informing you of the above for your informa- tion and further action.
The Secretariat for internal affairs in Uroševac has been informed of this in timely fashion and officials of same have been on the scene.”
Forwarding the above report, we ask the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church to intercede with competent authorities to finally put a halt to this and simi- lar occurrences. We will also write about this to the Pro- vincial religions commission in Priština.”86
85 AHSB, Syn No 1028/zap. 168, Mar. 23, 1971.
86 AHSB, Syn No 2888/1971.
The Year 1972
His Grace Bishop Pavle also wrote to the Holy Synod of Bishops:
The administration of Visoki Dečani Monastery has sent me the following:
“it is my honor to inform the council of the theft of the monastery forest: as you are aware thefts are constantly occurring in state and monastery forests. at the end of last year and the beginning of this year theft reached its culmi- nation. Fr. Grigorije was personally visiting the monastery forest every day with a student. albanian peasants from Dečani, Crnobreg and Beleg are stealing on all sides. They are unselective about whether the location is next to the monastery itself or further away. Whatever they like, they take. One day before Christmas i caught five young men from Dečani (house of Zun Zog) right above the monas- tery where they had cut down five logs valued at 1,500.00 new dinars. Luckily, i managed to lure them to the monas- tery and took the logs. in exchange they are coming to the monastery forest every day and taking what they like. We succeeded in confiscating nine more logs, while they and others are stealing so much that it is impossible to prevent. They do not come alone but in groups of as many as 20 wagons together. The foresters are as powerless as the po- lice. The authorities, too. an albanian friend is offering to guard the monastery forest for 1,000.00 dinars a month. all he can do is determine that the theft occurred, like be- fore, and he will certainly not betray the thieves. it is point- less to pay him for this service because we ourselves see and know that thefts are occurring.
While visiting the forest Fr. Georgije and i determined that the damage is 25,000.00 new dinars and every day it is grater. We know this because we sell the remaining lum- ber. We are trying to cut down as much as possible without the permission of the authorities because they are very re- luctant to issue a permit to cut down a tree but on the other hand cannot stop theft. The words of monastery host Zm- ber Cacaj to His Grace Bishop Pavle are slowly becoming reality: “Whether you give us the forest or not, we will cut it down anyway.” i am reporting this to you for your infor- mation but have absolutely no intention of complaining to the authorities about such incidents. The only possible ap- proach is to remain silent and do what we must.
Let us leave this complaint in your archives and the mon- astery’s archives, along with the countless ones from the Turkish period and the occupation.”
i am forwarding the above report for your information with the note that we have not informed the authorities of the Province of Kosovo with it, adopting the note of the elder of the monastery that previous complaints have not helped in preventing theft.”
The Holy Synod of Bishops acknowledged the informa- tion with regret and decided to send the commissions for
The Suffering and Persecution in Kosovo and Metohija from 1945 to 2005

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