Page 808 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 808

Protopresbyter-stavrophor Savo B. jović
7. Prizren: Church of St. George [Sveti Georgije] from the 15th century with royal doors from the 16th century, burned. Located in the courtyard of the church of St. George [Sv. Djordja] in front of the Bishop’s residence;
8. Prizren: Bishop’s residence building from the 1960s, burned;
9. Uroševac: Church of the Holy emperor Uroš (1933), burned;
10. Kosovo Polje: Church of St. Nicholas, 19th century, burned;
11. Bresje: Church of St. Catherine, 19th century, burned; 12. Priština: Church of St. Nicholas, 19th century, burned; 13. Gnjilane: Church of St. Nicholas (1861), burned to-
gether with all remaining Serb houses in town;
14. Belo Polje: Church of St. Nicholas (19th century), dam-
aged in 1999, partially restored, now burned;
15. Donja Slapašnica: church burned;
16. Brnjica: church burned;
17. Devič: monastery of Devič, church of the entry of the
Most Holy Theotokos (15th century), burned, sisterhood evacuated;
18. Vitina: church from 1925, burned.
it is sad and incomprehensible that monuments of spir-
ituality and culture which survived the 500 year-long oc- cupation of the Ottoman Muslim empire are irreparably disappearing during the reign of europe and america in this region, which still consider themselves to be bearers of Christian civilization and modern democracy.
even more tragic is that in this day the murder of in- nocent people, the frenzied burning and destruction of re- maining Serb settlements throughout this autonomous Province is continuing. The renowned monastery of Visoki Dečani has been targeted with artillery fire, the Peć Patri- archate, the centuries-old spiritual center of the Serbian Orthodox Church and people, is in danger.
it is clear to any thinking person that what is happening is a pre-planned, comprehensive ethnic cleansing and de- struction of all cultural and spiritual traces of the presence of the Christian Serb people in the region of Kosovo and Metohija. Moreover, the representatives of the interna- tional community, KFOR and UNMiK, by their actions or lack thereof from 1999 to today, are contributing, 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 people and a part of its territory, while those who in the name of protecting hu- man rights and freedoms, have assumed the protectorate and responsibility are contributing to the escalation of un- precedented terror in the heart of europe with their pas- sivity.
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 have also appealed to the albanians in Kosovo and Metohija 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 violence, injustice and hatred have never brought any good to anyone.
Finally, we call on all our people in these most difficult 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 unreasonable began to perpetuate against mosques in Belgrade 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.
We are convinced that it is clear to you also that this terrorism and violence is the same as the terrorism of Sep- tember 11 in New York and that which occurred recently in Madrid. Taking into account that it is more long lasting and comprehensive it is even more dangerous in many re- spects, not only for us but for all of the Balkans and europe.
We write this to you in accordance with our conscience and Christian duty with equal concern and responsibility for every endangered human being in the world as well as our own people, about whom we have written here and who have been entrusted to us for spiritual caretakership.
We expect that you will responsibly and in accordance with conscience do everything within your power to stop this crime and ensure equal rights for all in Kosovo and Metohija, and for Orthodox Serbs at least the right to a home, a church and their lives.”141
During its regular meeting from September 6–8, 2004, in Belgrade, the Holy assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church sent an appeal to the state authorities of Serbia, the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, and the international community for the protection of human rights in Kosovo and Metohija, the return of expelled per- sons and the restoration of destroyed homes, holy shrines and historical and cultural monuments, as follows:
“it is well-known to everyone that the agony of the Serb people in Kosovo and Metohija has already lasted five full years. Namely, from june 1999 to March 17, 2004, the great- est ethnic cleansing ever carried out “in peacetime” was carried out under the rule of UNMiK and in the presence of KFOR international peacekeeping forces. in that period
141 aHSB, 2004.

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