Page 778 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 778

Protopresbyter-stavrophor Savo B. jović
religious affairs of SR Serbia and SaP Kosovo a petition stating the following:87
“His Grace Bishop Pavle of Raška and Prizren, by act no 25 from january 24, 1972, forwarded a transcript of a report by the administration of Visoki Dečani Monastery relat- ing to organized, illegal timbering and theft of the monas- tery by the albanian residents of the surrounding villages: Dečani, Crnobreg and Beleg.
We see from the report that this evil has become so prevalent that the administration of the monastery is pow- erless to continue to protect the monastery forest from destruction. We are listing only a few examples:
- at the beginning of the month of january of this year, the elder of the monastery and another brother caught five young men from the house of Zun Zug who had cut down five timber logs valued at about 1,500.00 dinars.
- Theft is not being carried out by individuals but by groups with up to 20 horse-drawn wagons, so that it is im- possible to prevent.
- it is further said that officials of the National police, foresters and others relevant to this matter are powerless to stop this evil.
- For orientation purposes and this assessment dam- ages done to the Monastery just this year amount to 25,000.00 dinars.
With respect to the decision of the Holy Synod of Bish- ops under the above number and date, the Commission is asked to undertake necessary measures through its pro- vincial officials to prevent the organized, illegal cutting down of the forest of Dečani Monastery.”
On December 9, 1972, the Holy Synod of Bishops re- ceived from His Grace Bishop Pavle a copy of the petition he sent to the Commission for Religious affairs of SaP Kosovo, stating the following:
“On more than one occasion in the past we have ad- dressed the Commission for Religious affairs of the prov- ince asking for protection of the law and the Orthodox Church, her faithful and her property. We are forced to do so yet again.
1. Back in the month of February of this year, unknown persons made a hole in the roof of the Orthodox church in the village of Vinarac near Kosovska Mitrovica and then proceeded to throw assorted trash into the interior. The competent parish priest reported this act to the police but the police did not find the perpetrator. after the church was cleaned, the roof repaired and the door reinforced, in june of this year the church was again damaged. The crim- inals removed the door and stole it, broke and destroyed the icon lamps, candleholders and tables. in the village of Vinarac, where the chapel is located, the residents are of Muslim religion, while 3–4 kilometers away there is a vil- lage of the same name inhabited by the Orthodox.
87 AHSB, Syn No 738/zap. 74/72. 776
a similar thing occurred with the church of St. Para- skeva in the village of Dobrčan near Gnjilane. Unknown persons forced the door on the church open several times, entered inside and damaged it. When an iron door was installed, the criminals bent one iron in the window, pulled it out of its foundation, entered, destroyed three icon lamps, smashed the icon with a rock, shredded and scattered the drapes, vestments and service books, poured oil all over the church and outside on the west side and wrote slogans in- sulting the Serb nationality on the wall of the parish home.
in the yard of the Mladen Ugarević primary school in Prizren is the church of St. Nicholas and next to it a small building with a bell tower and a small room for church in- ventory. The small building was completely destroyed, the roof broken into in several places, the ceiling floor, win- dows and door completely destroyed, and the bell tower also destroyed.
More than 10,000.00 dinars of damage was done. We informed the Secretariat for internal affairs in Prizren of this in writing half a year ago.
2. in the cemetery of the village of Šipolje near Kosovska Mitrovica during the course of the summer in 1972 young men of albanian nationality singing insulting songs against the Serbs destroyed about fifteen gravestones. The same thing occurred recently in the village of Srbovac near Ko- sovska Mitrovica, where eight gravestones were destroyed.
The situation is the same in the cemetery in Orahovac, where not only were wooden grave crosses broken but also seven gravestones made of marble, two of cement and 14 stone crosses. in the village of Opteruša near Orahovac three stone crosses were broken on the graves and all wood- en crosses except three. in the village of Retimlje near Ora- hovac the wooden crosses were all broken and the graves were defecated upon.
Submitting the Commission for Religious issues of the Province this petition against the inhuman and unbrother- like actions against the Serbian Orthodox Church, we ask the Commission to finally do something to put an end to this evil.”
The Holy Synod of Bishops sent a transcript of this re- port to Džemal Bijedić, the president of the Federal execu- tive Council, as well as to the Commission for Religious affairs of SR Serbia.88
The Year 1973
On january 10, 1973, His Grace Bishop Pavle of Raška and Prizren by act No 12 informed the Holy Synod of Bishops that he had received the following petition from the Mu- nicipal assembly of Suva Reka:
“The administrator of the monastery of the Holy Trin- ity near Mušutište has submitted a report to this council of the following content:
88 AHSB, Syn No 3675/zap. 775, Dec. 12, 1972.

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