Page 811 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 811

The Holy assembly of Bishops dedicated lengthy con- sideration to this report and its Public Communiqué from May 26, 2005, expressed support for the efforts of Bishop artemije, then condemned attempts to appropriate Ser- bian Orthodox holy shrines in Kosovo and Metohija by albanian extremists and called on all responsible persons in Serbia and in the world to protect the faithful and prop- erty of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo and Meto- hija. The assembly also called on all displaced Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija to return to their homes, and respon- sible international factors to make this return possible, em- phasizing that without the return of the displaced all sto- ries about achieved standards are lies, cynical deceptions and extreme hypocrisy.144
This humble work is an attempt to demonstrate that the suffering and persecution of the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija is not neither new nor something that began five, ten or fifteen years ago but something that has lasted much longer. This book discusses only a short period from the end of World War ii to 2005 when the terror by the albanians, which unfortunately had the support of the Com- munist authorities, was fiercest and when the exodus of the Serbian people was most massive.
We have used for the most part documents that are stored in the archives of the Holy Synod of Bishops: re- ports by the Bishops of the Diocese of Raška and Prizren—
144 aHSB, Syn No 904, May 31, 2005.
Vladimir of blessed repose, Bishop Pavle (later the Serbian Patriarch), and the following Bishop, artemije, as well as the decisions of the Holy Synod of Bishops and the Holy assembly of Bishops.
Very few other sources are cited because the book’s pri- mary purpose was to shed at least partial light on the gol- gothic path of the Serbian people from 1945 to 2005—dur- ing a period that was deaf and dumb to its pain and cries— with the help of the reports of the bishops on the scene who, like true spiritual pastors, kept a wake and constantly watched over the flock entrusted to them.
Today, however, many from that period would like to justify themselves with the words “those were difficult times,” as if the times were to blame for the fact that many people demonstrated their inhumanity in them! St. Basil the Great says: “What distinguishes a good man from a bad one is that the good man uses what God has given him to dogood,whileabadmanturnsthatsamegoodintoevil.”145
Therefore, the responsibility of those who then ruled cannot be circumvented because had they used the offices entrusted to them to do go, i.e. carried them out conscien- tiously and responsibility, today we would not have hun- dreds of thousands of refugees, the status of Kosovo and Metohija would not be a subject of debate in every world capital, this book and others like it would not exist—while there would certainly also be fewer graves and more living Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija.
145 Cited by Serbian Patriarch Pavle, Život po Jevandjelju [Life according to the Gospels] (Belgrade, 1996), p. 197.
The Suffering and Persecution in Kosovo and Metohija from 1945 to 2005
   The most radical change in the ethnic composition of the population in Kosovo and Metohija oc- curred within a relatively short time, that is, over a few decades, during the communist regime in Yu- goslavia. At that time, Kosovo and Metohija obtained their present-day borders. At first, those bor- ders were administrative ones, then they become political-administrative ones and Kosovo and Meto- hija obtained full autonomy. Finally, the region became an international protectorate that was pro- claimed an independent state, which has already been recognized by many countries. Today, the re- mainder of the remaining Serbian population, as an ethnic minority of some 10 percent, lives in the enclaves under the more or less efficient protection of the international forces, KFOR and UNMIK. Nuns and priests in the monasteries live like in camps—protected with high walls and dense barbed wire fences. It is less known that these armed forces often care more about their own security than about the security of the civilian Serbian population. The daily routine of Kosovo and Metohija in- cludes ethnic apartheid and violence, the facts for which NATO and its members have assumed full political, legal and historical responsibility.

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