The Information Service of
the Serbian Orthodox Church

14 September 2001

Patriarch Pavle


His Holiness the Serbian Patriarch Kyr Pavle has sent an appeal to the most responsible officials of the global community, the representatives of France, Italy, the United States of America, Russia and Greece, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, the Secretary General of the United Nations, the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the President of the European Union Commission and the General Director of UNESCO.

The appeal emphasizes that the Serbian Orthodox Church on many occasions in the past has issued an evangelical message of peace and forgiveness both in writing and in direct contacts, insisting on the protection of the lives and property of all residents of the Balkans, regardless of their nationality or religion. However, the latest news suggests that unrest, suffering and destruction are not only continuing but spreading from the northwest to the southeast of the Balkans, having as their chief cause the growth of Albanian terrorism. Despite many appeals, the Monastery of Matejce, the pious endowment of Serbian kings during the 14th century, was gravely endangered while being used as a base by terrorists; the Monastery of Lesak near Tetovo was completely destroyed; and the Church of St. George /Sv. Georgija/ in Mala Resica, likewise in the Tetovo area, was seriously damaged.

It is clear that what is happening is no longer a battle for human rights but a battle for territory and the change of internationally recognized borders by means of terrorism and ethnic cleansing of the non-Albanian population. The Albanian extremists and terrorists do not want an end to clashes and a peaceful solution to all problems; they want the flames of war to continue to spread even further.

At the end of his appeal, His Holiness the Serbian Patriarch Kyr Pavle personally addresses the aforementioned officials of the global community with the request that they do everything in their power to finally end suffering and destruction in the ravaged Balkans, and that the time of death, devastation and tears be replaced by a time of birth, construction, tolerance and peace.