Page 780 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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Protopresbyter-stavrophor Savo B. jović
16. elmija N. from Kurbalija, who has 20 goats, two don- keys and two mares, , who cut down trees repeatedly and additionally removed the fence from a fenced field near the forest planted with corn and destroyed the crops on it with his livestock although the keeping of goats is prohibited.
On january 9, 1973 the priest from this church Stanimir Matić caught forester Stojadin Radenković with lumber- jack Salajdin Šabani known as “Pamuk” from Preševo, who attacked the priest with an ax. This man cuts down trees every day and does this to sell the cut logs.
all the persons who carry out illegal lumbering and de- stroy the wealth of this city are armed with various weap- ons, so that it is impossible to resist them or overcome them barehanded. We consider it to be in the interests of our society and our own town that this forest be preserved, which has been guarded for centuries and not destroyed and which is now being destroyed before the eyes of the authorities and administration without anything being do- ne although the importance of it for climatic conditions, protection from erosion, etc. is well-known.
Therefore, we are also addressing the addressee in writ- ing and asking:
That urgent measures be undertaken to protect this for- est from destruction and that those causing damage are prosecuted.
it is our honor to inform the Holy Synod of Bishops for its information that an act of this content has been sent to the Commission for Religious affairs of SR Serbia in Bel- grade, the Secretariat of the Municipal Committee of the League of Communists in Preševo and the Department for internal affairs of SO Preševo.”
The Holy Synod of Bishops decided to send a transcript of this to the President of the SR Serbia assembly, Mr. Dra- goslav Marković, and to the Commission for Religious af- fairs of SR Serbia with the request that the emphasized problem be given lengthy consideration and a stop be put to barbaric acts toward the property of the Serbian Ortho- dox Church.90
at the same meeting the Holy Synod of Bishops dis- cussed the petition of His Grace Bishop Pavle of Raška and Prizren No 11 from june 10, 1973, which he sent to the SO Prizren:
“Three elderly Orthodox Serbs, residents of the village of Koriša, came on january 8, 1973, to the office of this coun- cil and gave the following statement:
’every year, on the second day of Christmas, we have gone to the monastery of St. Mark in the village of Kabaša, and we did the same today. We took the key to unlock the church but when we arrived the key was not necessary be- cause the door on the church was broken, the iconostasis, icons, choir stand, crosses, vestments and all the inventory set on fire and burned. The large iron candleholder was bent, the remnants of burned books scattered. We did not move anything, merely lit candles and returned.
90 AHSB, Syn No 877/zap. 140, Mar. 6, 1973. 778
We are submitting this report so that necessary mea- sures can be undertaken for those guilty to be found and thismonasterytobeprotected.’
Forwarding the above to the municipal assembly, we ask the assembly to undertake appropriate measures to put an end to the violence against this monastery, where all the living quarters and the church were also destroyed by the residents of Kabaša during World War i. Now in a time of peace the act of its demolition and destruction is being continued, whether by the residents of the same village or someone else. Certainly an investigation needs to deter- mine this. Thus, we ask that an investigation be conducted, the guilty found and punished, and the monastery com- pensated for the damage done.”
The Year 1974
in a meeting on February 5, 1974, the Holy Synod of Bishops acknowledged the information in a copy of a peti- tion sent by His Grace Bishop Pavle of Raška and Prizren under No 10 from january 4, 1974, to the Commission for Relations with Religious Communities of the Socialist au- tonomous Province of Kosovo in Priština regarding two cases of robbery in the church of St. Nicholas in Prizren and the church of St. elijah in Vučitrn.
at the same time, it asked His Grace Bishop Pavle to inform the Holy Synod of Bishops of the results of its intervention.”91
His Grace Bishop Pavle of Raška and Prizren then in- formed the Holy Synod of Bishops about attacks and per- manent displacement of the Serbian people in the period from april 1, 1973, to april 1974.
“in addition to forcible entries and destruction of church- es and church buildings, there are frequent attacks on the property and forests of monasteries and churches. When a sister from the monastery of Devič went to chase cattle out of the monastery meadow, albanian shepherds showered her with rocks, injuring her on the head so that she was forced to seek the help of a physician. Here this is not a rare occurrence. On Christmas eve Muslim Roma attacked the priest and the faithful in the church courtyard with rocks and mud, and then the children who were returning from church with Yule logs to their homes (in Vučitrn).
The permanent displacement of our population remains a current issue. in some places it is more and in some less discernable but it is present everywhere in the Diocese, both in places where it is mixed with albanians and where it is mixed with the Muslim population. i will cite from the report of a parish priest from the area of Gnjilane to give an idea of the extent. a village of 176 Orthodox households today has a tenth of that or only 17; another of 48 house- holds now had 18; a third of 61 households today has none as everyone has moved away... and so on. The maintenance of existing churches in such locations would be difficult
91 AHSB, Syn No 304/zap. 45/74.

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