September 05, 2003

ERP KIM Newsletter 05-09-03

The Information Service of
the Serbian Orthodox Church
Belgrade: September 4, 2003

PRESENTATION OF THE MEMORANDUM ON KOSOVO AND METOHIJA OF THE HOLY SYNOD OF BISHOPS OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

"Our holy and martyred KOSOVO AND METOHIJA, our Holy Jerusalem, the soul of our souls, our honor, the root of our being, our fate. Without it, we would cease to be what we are because it is in Kosovo and Metohija that we became a mature and historical people and, in the words of the Holy Great Martyr Lazar of Kosovo, chose once and for all times, the Kingdom of Heaven."

Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral

On the evening of September 3, 2003 before a numerous audience gathered in the lecture hall of the Kolarac Endowment in Belgrade the Memorandum on Kosovo and Metohija of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, in which the Church expresses its deep concern for the fate of Kosovo and Metohija, was presented.

 

Those present were first addressed by His Holiness the Serbian Patriarch Kyr Pavle who emphasized that he had spent 34 years in Kosovo and Metohija, and that representatives of all three religious communities - the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church and the Islamic religious community - had met many times to discuss and attempt to find a solution to growing nationalism but that even then it was apparent that the Albanians desired, advocated, and were working toward realizing an ethnically clean Kosovo and Metohija. The Serbian Orthodox Church has reacted countless times to violence and open indications of the creation of an independent Kosovo but no one responded to the cries of the Church; instead of helping their people and reacting to the most obvious injustices, the Government described all the Church's efforts as "nationalism."

Rt. Rev. Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral Kyr Amfilohije assessed that with this Memorandum the Serbian Orthodox Church wishes "to awaken the memory and remind us of the deepest truth of life and men, to remind us of spiritual and moral laws." He also commented critically on the statement of Montenegrin officials that the issue of Kosovo and Metohija is a matter for Belgrade and Pristina.

Rt. Rev. Bishop of Raska and Prizren Kyr Artemije emphasized that the Memorandum is of great significance and represents "the fate of truth and testimony that we are on the road of truth that leads to life."

Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and head of the Joint Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija Dr. Nebojsa Covic emphasized that, for the first time since World War II, the Church and the State have "reached consensus" with respect to the future of the Province.

Bishop Atanasije (Jevtic) made a direct speech without any flourishes on many developments: "We believe in God's justice even though those who believe in nothing taunt us when we say we are God's people and rely on 'Heavenly Serbia'. We must have faith and patience, and Kosovo will survive just as Jerusalem survived, survives and will continue to survive." 

This exceptional evening was enriched by the artistic talents of Mrs. Svetlana Stevic, who sang an inspired rendition of the old song Knjigu pise turski care, and Vladimir Simic and Anastasija Ostojic of the choral group Belo platno, who performed traditional songs from Kosovo and Metohija.


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The Information Service of
the Serbian Orthodox Church
Belgrade, August 7, 2003


Gracanica Monastery

MEMORANDUM ON
KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
OF THE HOLY SYNOD OF BISHOPS
OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

"What Jerusalem is to the Jews, Kosovo is to the Serbs, and Kosovo, like a Jerusalem, is not just geography or demographics. It is a matter of identity: national, spiritual, cultural, Christian and human, i.e., theanthropic. This is why the Serbian Orthodox Church is at this moment so deeply concerned about the fate of Kosovo and Metohija and with all who live there, and all the holy shrines that exist there. This Memorandum is truly yet another impartial reminder, in a countless series of such reminders, of the complete truth and justice of Kosovo and Metohija, in the past and the present, for the common future of all in Kosovo," writes Bishop Atanasije (Jevtic), the editor of this important work.

From the contents of the book it is apparent that the problem of Kosovo and Metohija is far deeper and complex than it may appear to those without prior knowledge at first glance.
The following topics are discussed in the Memorandum:

  • Name and territory
  • Problem of Kosovo
  • Pious endowments and holy shrines of Kosovo and Metohija demonstrate the Serbian character of KOSOVO
  • History of the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija
  • Serbian medieval state in Kosovo and Metohija
  • Serbian Church in Kosovo and Metohija
  • Battle of Kosovo Polje in 1389 and ongoing history of Serbian Kosovo
  • Appearance of Albanians in Metohija and Kosovo and arrival of the Turks
  • Great Migration of 1690 and further Serb migrations
  • Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija during the 19th century and persecution up to the liberation of Kosovo in 1912
  • Kosovo and Metohija during World War I and World War II
  • Persecution of the Serbs of Kosovo and Metohija 1941-1945
  • Kosovo and Metohija under Communist rule 1945-1990
  • Kosovo and Metohija under the neo-Communism of Slobodan Milosevic
  • Situation in Kosovo and Metohija before the most recent conflict
  • From armed conflict to NATO bombing in March 1999
  • NATO bombing of Serbia (including Kosovo and Metohija) March 24-June 10, 1999
  • Tragic situation of Serbs and the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo and Metohija from June 1999 to today
  • Kosovo after democratic changes in Serbia (October 5, 2000)

The book also includes three Attachments.

The first Attachment is a list of destroyed, burned, devastated and looted churches.
The second Attachment includes the names of Serbs killed in Kosovo and Metohija since June 15, 1999 to May 2003, while the third Attachment lists the names of Serbs kidnapped in Kosovo and Metohija from June 13, 1999 to March 1, 2001.

In addition, the book includes approximately fifty photographs depicting the irreproducible beauty of the Serbian spiritual heritage and the eternal deed of the Serbian people to this region, as well as scenes of madness by those who want to erase all this from the face of the planet, rewrite history and negate historical truth by destroying not only recently built churches but also those dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries. 

After reading the Memorandum of the Serbian Orthodox Church no one will be able to repeat the malicious words of a senior foreign diplomat who recently stated that the Serbs, by doing what they did for the last ten years, have created a tremendous desire for revenge among the Kosovo Albanians. From the documents cited here, every reader will see that violence has been present whenever the desire of the Albanians to take what is not their theirs has found support with one of the most powerful world powers, from the Turkish Empire to the present day.

The Memorandum also includes a summary in both Serbian and English languages .

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ERP KIM Info-Service is the official Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren and works with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Artemije.
Our Information Service is distributing news on Kosovo related issues. The main focus of the Info-Service is the life of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian community in the Province of Kosovo and Metohija. ERP KIM Info Service works in cooperation with www.serbian-translation.com as well as the Kosovo Daily News (KDN) News List

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The views expressed by the authors of newspaper articles or other texts which are not official communiqués or news reports by the Diocese are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Serbian Orthodox Church

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