Page 791 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 791

To make myself brief, i said that i would speak only about those difficulties that we were experiencing not out of ma- terial reasons and interests but those calculated to inflict damage, destroy and ruin us. By way of example, i pointed to the systemic destruction of the monastery of St. Mark near Prizren, where the residences and roof of the church were destroyed in World War i and World War ii and a concrete roof was built after the last war. Services are held there once a year. However, back in 1973 the church was broken into and the icons, vestments and books torched. We have replaced the wood doors with iron ones. a few years later they were also forced open and what remained in the church was completely destroyed. The same hap- pened with the church of St. Nicholas in Prizren near the Mladen Ugarević School, with the church of St. Paraskeva in Dobrčan near Gnjilane, with the church in the village of Vinarac near Kosovska Mitrovica and elsewhere.
Not even our cemeteries are left in peace. in the cem- etery of the village of Šipolje, young men of albanian na- tionality singing derogatory songs against the Serbs de- stroyed 15 gravestones. The same occurred after the dem- onstrations last year in the cemetery of the village of Bresje, where 38 gravestones were destroyed, in Štimlje, Veliki Djurdjevik and elsewhere.
i also informed the President of the unfortunate events that are happening almost every day to the sisterhood of the monastery of Devič and their property, as well to the monastery of the Holy Trinity in Prizren and elsewhere.
The President responded that he immediately ordered an investigation into the communication regarding the monastery of the Holy Trinity. But in order to more easily resolve these and similar misdeeds, the President said, you must contact competent state officials more frequently re- garding these matters.
even if i did not want to contact them, comrade Presi- dent, i responded, difficulties force me to do so. i can tell you that recently i visited the presidents of the Municipal assemblies of Peć, Prizren, istok and we are also here to see you, as the top leader of our Province to describe our dif- ficulties and ask that something be done to prevent them.
i also added that the systematic pressure being applied by some citizens of albanian nationality is the main reason for their permanent displacement. i have never claimed that some of them did not leave for economic reasons, bet- ter jobs, etc. That is normal and that is not what we are complaining about. What concerns us and the reason we are asking for protection is what is being done illegally and unconstitutionally.
Protopresbyter Radomir Božić described the damage inflicted on the church in Uroševac, where 10 windows were broken, the church was forcibly entered and dam- aged in two rounds, the church office and the hall for the faithful; also the church in Nerodimlje, where inimical graf- fiti was written inside and out.
Presbyter Nikola Božanić spoke about the unpleasant- ries endured by priests in both towns and villages by youth of albanian nationality. For example, when we pass next to schools during funeral processions, students of albanian nationality shout vulgar and swear words at us, not only individually but in choir, and occasionally also shower us with rocks. The Bishop did not tell you but i will that he was himself recently attacked by a young man, and also a professor of the seminary in Prizren, Protopresbyter Milu- tin Timotijević.
President ali Šukrija promised to do everything possi- ble to prevent illegal actions toward us and everyone else from occurring.
in the end i said that we had the understanding of the Commission for Relations with Religious Communities, as well as of other higher officials. But among lower officials, where the legality guaranteed by the Constitution should be realized, matters stand worse. Certainly we cannot ex- pect that all levels of government will have the same level of the sense of justice but we do expect a minimum of un- derstanding, ensured fundamental legal rights and protec- tion in a country based on constitutional principles.
Thanking comrade President once again for receiving us, i gave him a written petition about the cited difficulties we have faced for many years. i am forwarding this peti- tion to the Holy Synod of Bishops as an attachment.”110
He then wrote the Holy Synod of Bishops in act No 435 from august 21, 1982 that he sent the executive Council of SaP Kosovo in Priština—Commission for Relations with Religious Communities an act of the following content:
“in the series of provocations which certain chauvinis- tically oriented citizens of albanian nationality are com- mitting against Orthodox churches and other religious buildings, we have been informed that near Uroševac in the cemetery of the village of Doganjevo two gravestones have been toppled and destroyed. also toppled and de- stroyed was the old gravestone monument in the cemetery of the village of Čabići near Klina in Metohija.
a few days ago someone defecated on the threshold of the cathedral in Prizren and used the feces to defile the north door of that church. The church is fenced in and the gate on the fence is closed and locked in the evenings. (We are sending a relevant photograph to the Holy Synod.)
Like in many other cases, these two obviously show that they are motivated by the desire to inflict damage and out of malice, not any material gain.
in connection with the above petition we ask the Com- mission to do everything possible on its part to stop the perpetrators of these and similar misdeeds toward the Or- thodox church.”111
Despite the appeals of Bishop Pavle describing attacks by albanians on Serbs and their property, a serious crime
110 AHSB, Syn No 1147/1982. 111 AHSB, Syn No 2030/1982.
The Suffering and Persecution in Kosovo and Metohija from 1945 to 2005

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