Bishop warns of “toughest times” for Serbs since 2004 pogrom
Bishop warns of �toughest times� for Serbs since 2004 pogrom
Jan 23rd, 2013
BELGRADE � A SPC bishop based in Kosovo has said that the position of
the Serb people in Kosovo and Metohija (KiM) has not been this difficult
ever since March 2004.
Ethnic Albanians at that time organized widespread attacks on Serbs,
their property, and holy places.
�Eight full years have passed since the horrible event, and we still see
that part of the Albanian community is ready to commit the most serious
crimes, including the barbaric desecration of graves,� Serbian Orthodox
Church (SPC) Bishop of Ra�ka-Prizren Teodosije was quoted as saying.
Commenting on the latest spate of violence in which several dozen
gravestones were either destroyed or damaged in Serb Orthodox cemeteries
in Kosovo and Metohija, the Bishop said that �the feelings at seeing
images of broken tombs and crosses set on fire are terrible.�
�This is the image of Kosovo and Metohija 14 years after the war and a
warning to Europe, which this year is celebrating 1,700 years since the
Edict of Milan, which granted freedom to Christianity,� he said.
Teodosije stressed that �after so many centuries, Europe must not allow
crosses to burn and Christian shrines and tombs to be destroyed again.�
�These rampages have given pain to the souls of the Serbs� and all
Christians who see these images, but they are bringing far greater
civilizational and moral shame on the Kosovo Albanians,� said the bishop.
When the bones of the deceased have no peace in this country, many Serbs
are wondering, he said, �what kind of future is awaiting them among
people who have no qualms about destroying graves.�
He pointed out that all the international representatives had condemned
the violence, particularly Head of the EU Office in Kosovo Samuel Zbogar.
�I can see from the words these people say how appalled they are at
seeing the brutal scenes taking place at our cemeteries. KFOR and police
increased their presence around our facilities and as far as can be
seen, there is a firm stance about the need to prevent further violence
against Christians sanctities from happening again,� said Teodosije.
According to Teodosije, the SPC priesthood in Kosovo is safe, �even
though the two nuns and two old women in the Monastery of the Most Holy
Mother of God in ?akovica spent a sleepless night while bullies were
letting out piercing screams only thirty meters away, wishing to enforce
the decision of their leaders to destroy this sacred place.�
During the March 17, 2004 ethnic Albanian violence at least eight Serbs
were murdered and two went missing. According to currently available
data, a total of 4,012 Serbs were expelled from their homes, six towns
and nine villages were ethnically cleansed, while 935 homes and 35
Serbian religious sites, including 18 cultural monuments, were burned
down or seriously damaged.
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