DESTRUCTION OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCHES IN THE ORAHOVAC REGION
The Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren has recently managed to get the photos of the destroyed churches in Zociste area, near Orahovac, South West of Kosovo. These photos are just a choice from a collection of gathered photo and video material.
The icon of the Holy Cosmas and Damian found in the ruins of Zociste Monastery. The holy relics which the monks saved before the destruction were venerated in the area and many Serbs, Albanians and Romas were healed before this icon and the relics. The icon is now preserved in the Prizren cathedral and venerated as a martyred icon. St Cosmas and Damian were Christian Saints from Egypt (4th century) and are known as physicians who never took money from their patients (in Greek Anargyroi)
The church of the Holy Saviour in Opterusa, 8 km. south from Orahovac, near Zociste, was built in 1993 on the ruins of an old Medieval Serb church. This church was mined by Albanian extremists in summer 1999. All Serb houses in the area were looted
and burned down.
The church of the Holy Virgin in Retimlje, near Zociste, was mined by the local Albanian extremists in summer 1999. This was one of the recently built churches in the area for the needs of a small Serb community in this village. Around 30 Serbs from this area were kidnapped by KLA rebels in 1998 and have never been found so far. The KLA expelled and destroyed the Serb houses before the end of the war. At the end the church which had previously been vandalized was finally totally destroyed by explosive.