Page 807 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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ginning with Holy archangels and Bogorodica Ljeviška in Prizren to the church of St. Nicholas (19th century) in Belo Polje have been torched and destroyed in one day. Tens of people have been killed, the remaining Serb settlements throughout Kosovo and Metohija are being torched and destroyed; Dečani Monastery has been targeted with artil- lery fire, the Peć Patriarchate and the monastery of Grača- nica are in danger. it is clear to any thinking person that what is happening is a pre-planned, comprehensive ethnic cleansing and destruction of all cultural and spiritual trac- es of the presence of the Christian Serb people in the re- gion of Kosovo and Metohija. Moreover, the representa- tives of the international community, KFOR and UNMiK, by their actions or lack thereof from 1999 to today, are con- tributing, willingly or not, to the final extermination of the Serbian Orthodox people from their ancestral homes and the destruction of their culture and the pan-Christian holy shrines of Kosovo. Our state, contrary to Security Council Resolution 1244, is being prevented from defending its peo- ple and a part of its territory, while those who in the name of protecting human rights and freedoms, have assumed the protectorate and responsibility are contributing to the escalation of unprecedented terror in the heart of europe with their passivity.
For this reason the Holy Synod of Bishops appeals to the authorities of the state union of Serbia and Montene- gro and the government of Serbia to do everything within their power to protect the people from extermination and the final expulsion of the Serb people from Kosovo and Metohija.
We cry out to the european Community, the USa, Rus- sia, the United Nations to urgently stop this pogrom and terror, in God’s name and for the sake of human dignity.
We also appeal to the albanians in Kosovo and Meto- hija and their leaders to stop this senselessness for their own sakes and the sake of their future. We remind them and ourselves of the general human experience that vio- lence, injustice and hatred have never brought any good to anyone. Finally, we call on all our people in these most dif- ficult times to double their fasting and prayers for salvation and liberation, for peace among us and throughout the world. Let us not allow ourselves, for any interest in this world, to do anything unworthy of God’s People, anything inhumane. We must take care in these confusing times to avoid any senseless and irrational vengeance, like the un- reasonable began to perpetuate against mosques in Bel- grade and Niš. We must protect ourselves from evil and criminals but not in inhumane fashion or, God forbid, through evil deeds or inhumanity as criminals do. Lord, help us all, both us and our enemies, for we all need peace, freedom and justice, for ourselves, and for all people and nations.”140
140 aHSB, 2004.
On March 20, 2004, His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pav- le informed all the heads of the Local Orthodox Churches about this, saying the following:
“We feel it is our duty to write you this letter in order to thus fulfill our duty before God and before history.
as a long-time bishop in Kosovo (we served as the Bish- op of Raška and Prizren for 34 years), we know we speak the truth before God, that what is happening these days in the south Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija is only a continuation of organized albanian terrorism and ethnic cleansing of the Serb population, and the systematic de- struction of its cultural heritage, which has lasted for sev- eral decades, better said since the beginning of World War ii (1941). Unfortunately, the international public is little aware that this terrorism and violence appeared in a spe- cial form with the burning of the residence of the Peć Pa- triarchate in 1981. They continued uninterrupted until 1999 and since that year of NaTO bombing and expulsion of several hundred thousand Serbs and other non-albanians have grown progressively in strength and intensity. The result of this unprecedented violence is several thousand men, women and children who were kidnapped and mur- dered, burned villages and settlements of Serbs, usurped and endangered property of the people and the Church (and thus the legalization of previous Communist violence), the destruction and damage of more than 115 monasteries and churches. and all this at a time when the entire region was under the direct protectorate of the international com- munity.
The culmination of this is the latest, obviously pre- planned, unprecedented pogrom currently in process against the last remaining Serbs and their spiritual and cul- tural identity. in just one day more than 18 of the most sig- nificant churches and cultural monuments dating from the 14th to the 19th centuries, some of them under the direct protection of UNeSCO, were destroyed. We will list them by location, name and date of construction.
1. Peć: Church of St. john the Forerunner, 1982, burned with the parish home;
2. Djakovica: Church of the ascension of Our Lord, 19th century, burned with the parish home (four Serb old ladies living there have been evacuated to the monastery of De- čani);
3. Prizren: Bogorodica Ljeviška Cathedral, burned (church foundation is from the 12th century, and it was re- stored by King Milutin in 1306-07);
4. Prizren: Church of the Holy Savior, built and deco- rated with frescos in the mid-14th century, burned;
5. Prizren: St. George the Great-Martyr Cathedral from 1997 with an icon of the Theotokos from the 14th century and an iconostasis from the 18th century, burned;
6. Prizren: Monastery of Holy archangels near Prizren, built by the emperor Dušan from 1343–1352, burned (broth- erhood of seven monks evacuated);
The Suffering and Persecution in Kosovo and Metohija from 1945 to 2005

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