Page 785 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 785

Many priests, monks and nuns, as well as Orthodox faithful on the territory of SaP Kosovo are constantly com- plaining about the violence being done to them by their co citizens of albanian nationality, and the damage that is con- stantly being done to our churches, church buildings, crops and forests.
The Bishop of Raška and Prizren and the Holy Synod of Bishops have forwarded complaints to the Commission for Relations with Religious Communities of the executive Council of the assembly of SaP Kosovo in Priština, as well as to the Commission of the executive Councils of SR Serbia and the Federation, with the request that the members of the Serbian Orthodox Church be ensured peace and safety. The highest representation of our church, the Holy as- sembly of Bishops, has also written a letter to SFRj Presi- dent josip Broz Tito when he was alive. He received the petition and responded that he would “do everything pos- sible to prevent disturbances and illegal actions, and to en- sure the free life and integrity of every citizen, and the se- curity of their property.” in this response he also wrote: “i will forward your letter, together with my views on the ne- cessity of undertaking decisive measures to protect legali- ty, to the executive Council of the assembly of SR Serbia.”
after such complaints the disturbances would ease up for a time only to appear again in another area in an even more serious form. We are convinced that these difficulties are largely the cause of the permanent departure of the Or- thodox population from the territory of SaP Kosovo be- cause it feels threatened there.
We will list only a few of the difficulties that have been reoccurring in the past ten or so years.
in Prizren next to the church of St. Nicholas near the Mladen Ugarević School there was a building with two chambers and a bell tower. The building and the bell tower was completely destroyed by children and adults despite the fact that we pointed this out to the authorities and com- plained both orally and in writing for several years. They broke in through the doors, the windows and the roof of that small church and we were forced to built a cement roof, and to put iron bars on the windows which were again broken into, even though there are no regular services in the church and it is impossible that they are breaking in to look for money. This motivation to damage and destroy is even more clearly expressed on the church of the monas- tery of St. Mark in Prizren where services are held only once a year. The monastery was destroyed in both World War i and World War ii—its residences were completely destroyed, and the roof on the church. after the war only the church was repaired, and a cement roof was built. But unknown persons broke in through the door back in 1973, setting fire and partially destroying the icons, vestments, books and other church items in the church. Five years later, although the wooden doors were replaced with iron ones, the door was destroyed and everything that remained in the church was completely destroyed. The same thing
occurred with the small church in the village of Vinarac near Kosovska Mitrovica where unknown persons broke through the roof and filled the church with rubbish. When the trash was removed, the roof repaired and the door re- inforced, the little church was again damaged, the doors removed and stolen, the lamps, candleholders and tables broken and destroyed.
The same happened to the small church of St. Paraskeva in the village of Dobrčan near Gnjilane. On several occa- sions the doors were forced open, the lamps destroyed, the icons smashed with rocks, the drapes, vestments and litur- gical books shredded, oil spilled, and graffiti written on the walls with messages insulting Serb nationality.
The churches in the village of Straža near Gnjilane, Šti- mlje near Uroševac and Dojnice near Prizren were also broken into several times.
even the cemeteries are not being left in peace. in the village of Šipolje near Kosovska Mitrovica young men of albanian nationality singing derogatory songs against the Serbs destroyed about 15 gravestones. The same thing oc- curred in the village of Sibovac near Kosovska Mitrovica, in Buzovik near Kosovska Vitina, Štimlje near Uroševac, Opteruša and Retimlje near Orahovica, in Prizren itself and in the courtyard of the monastery in Peć. The cover on the tomb of philanthropist Simo igumanov was also smashed near the monastery of St. Mark near Prizren.
Damage is being done every day to the garden and crops of Devič Monastery, its orchard and vineyard; oxen are driv- en into the crops and when the livestock is captured and tied up the owners release them by force swearing and us- ing coarse language. The sisters of this monastery have been attacked with rocks and beaten several times; they are con- stantly attacked with words and chauvinist statements to get lost from here because this is not Serb, etc.
in Sokolica Monastery two unknown men tried to steal the monastery bull. a few days after that a haystack of over 1,000 kg. belonging to the monastery was set on fire and everything destroyed. Priests were attacked with rocks near Kosovska Mitrovica, Vučitrn, and a monk from Gorioč Monastery was chased by 11 young men of albanian na- tionality around the monastery as they shouted, “Priest!” and used impolite and curse words. Visitors to Devič Mon- astery and the small church in the village of Mušutište near Suva Reka were attacked with rocks. a few years ago, a young albanian man hit Bishop Pavle in the street in Priz- ren.
The forests of the monasteries of Devič, Gorioč, Deča- ni, the Holy Trinity, Binča, in the cemetery of the village of Petrč near Peć are being cut down every day. just recently five albanians in the forest of the monastery of the Holy Trinity cut down 64 trees and two others cut down 14 trees with a machine saw.
Unrest is constantly being injected through writing of graffiti against Serbs, threatening statements, singing of chauvinist songs. in the monastery of the Holy Trinity near
The Suffering and Persecution in Kosovo and Metohija from 1945 to 2005

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