Page 784 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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Protopresbyter-stavrophor Savo B. jović
The Year 1980
Bishop Pavle informed the Holy Synod of Bishops about the suffering and persecution of the Serbian people from april 1, 1980 to april 1, 1981:
“When i arrived in the Diocese of Raška and Prizren 23 years ago, i knew i would not be welcomed there with paths strewn with flowers but with difficulties of various kinds. in these 23 years there have been difficulties aplenty but it seems to me they have never been greater than those we have experienced last year and at the beginning of this year. While the Holy assembly of Bishops was still meeting last year, we had an earthquake, which also damaged three churches in poor villages, which were difficult to maintain let alone to repair after an earthquake. One of them, over 100 years old, had just been renovated. Now the dome, which cracked in the earthquake, needs to be destroyed and re- built, and the church reinforced with iron bands. and ev- erything has been completely exhausted.
Two seminarians, Milorad Sredojević and Ljubo Milo- šević, were attacked on the first day of Pentecost, May 25, 1980, near the seminary (in Prizren) by albanian youths who cut them on their arms and backs with a knife and glass from bottles broken for that purpose. When these students were in the hospital an inspector from SUP visit- ed them and took their statements. They were also called to give statements before the criminal justice and in the Municipal Court, and a trial date was scheduled in the Mu- nicipal Court.
Only three days after this occurred, on May 28, 1980, a young man attacked Protopresbyter Milutin Timotijević, a professor at the same seminary, and during his fall, he dis- located his wrist and broke his upper arm (...). a male and a female teacher (both Serbs) were fired from their jobs for their religious views. Moreover, an albanian forcing his cattle to pass through monastery property was reprimand- ed by a sister from the monastery whom he then beat with a stick; moreover, the monastery forest is being constantly cut down illegally, thus in just one day 64 trees were cut down in one monastery, and ten days later 14 more. among those cutting down the monastery forest there is a teacher, etc. Finally, these most recent events involving demonstra- tions in Priština, Uroševac, Podujevo, Kosovska Mitrovica, Glogovac, Vučitrn and the difficulties arising therefrom.
Presenting these and similar difficulties, for years i have begged the authorities to put an end to intimidation, chau- vinist diatribes and terror against our faithful, clergy, monks and nuns, which are causing confusion, unrest and insecu- rity, and consequently our faithful are leaving. Usually the answer i got was that these departures are a result of in- creasingly rapid urbanization and economic issues—the search for a better working place and salary, employment and education of children, etc. i would say that these causes have their role in displacement but as something normal in our times, they are not what concerns us nor the reason
why we are appealing to them for protection. What is bad and concerning is the inimical pressure that is being applied systematically. The response has usually been that break ins and robberies are also being carried out in mosques, and that provocations are the acts of individual hooligans and aggressors who exist in every environment and every nation. Sometimes the answer was reducible to the asser- tion that the organization of these actions could only be discerned through the eyes of Serbian chauvinism. it is of small benefit to us that now we have public admission and writing about ’organized enemy activities by certain groups with explicitly albanian nationalist and irredentist inten- tions, directed against the freedom, independence and in- tegrity of our country’. These activities did not begin now, nor have they been created for this occasion.
Because of these difficulties that we have experienced for years, last year the Holy assembly of Bishops charged the Holy Synod of Bishops with sending a delegation to the President of the executive Council of the assembly of SaP Kosovo to demonstrate the pressure that is being carried out in this province toward the faithful, the institutions and property of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and seek intervention so this can finally be stopped. The Holy Synod of Bishops appointed His Grace Bishop Stefan of Žiča, Bish- op irinej of Niš and myself to this delegation, and also asked us to prepare and give to the President a memorandum. as early as last year, through the Commission for Relations with Religious Communities in Priština, we have tried oral- ly and in writing to be received. However, the meeting has not occurred because we were informed that the President does not have time to receive us (...).
From the reports of all the bishop’s deputies, we see that the permanent displacement of our population is con- tinuing. For example, about 100 households moved out of Kosovo Polje last year. Only a few houses remain in the vil- lage of Petrovce near Gnjilane, which was purely Serb until the last war. The church is still standing but how to main- tain it and protect it from unintentional ruin. What to do to stop the permanent displacement? The latest events with regard to student demonstrations do not appear to be creat- inganatmosphereencouragingthedisplacementtostop.”99
acknowledging this information with regret, the Holy Synod of Bishops decided to send a photocopy of the re- port to the commission for relations with religious com- munities of the executive Council of the assembly of Ser- bia and the executive Council of the assembly of SaP Ko- sovo.”100
a letter from the Holy Synod of Bishops to Fahriu Oručio, No 2244/zap. 695 from October 21, 1980, said the following: “We do not wish to give you more problems in addition to your numerous duties and tasks but circumstances force
us to appeal to you and make you aware of the following:
99 AHSB, Syn No 887 and 1115/1981.
100 AHSB, Syn No 1480/zap. 496, July 1, 1980.

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