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Compilation from Belgrade daily newspapers, prepared by editorial staff of the Voice of Kosovo and Metohia

April 29, 2000

  • SNC: Kosovo Serbs Issue MEMORANDUM Against Violence and Discrimination in Kosovo
  • Albanian terrorists blew up Serbian church in Grncar
  • Kosovo Albanian terrorists mine Serb church on orthodox holiday
  • Desecrated Serbian cemetery in Ajvalija
  • Albanian extremists pelt with stones busses full of Serbs
  • Presevo Valley under control: Ortuno
  • SNF official Oliver Ivanovic: No conditions for census, elections in Kosovo and Metohija
  • Security Council delegation meets demonstrators
  • Montenegrin police arrest 15 Turkish citizens at border
  • Albanian narco-mafia took global leadership
  • Russia has a serious plan for Kosovo
  • IFJ: No media supervision in Kosovo
  • Patriarch in Kosovo
  • Pashal Message of his Holiness Patriarch Pavle
  • SNC: KOSOVO SERBS ISSUE MEMORANDUM AGAINST VIOLENCE AND DISCRIMINATION IN KOSOVO

    (SNC, 29. 4. 2000)

    Today, Apr 28, on the meeting of the Kosovo Transitional Council the members of the special delegation of the UN Security Council were given the text of the MEMORANDUM about the systematic violations of human rights in post war Kosovo. Serb delegation led by Bishop Artemije, Fr. Sava, Dr Rada Trajkovic, Randjel Nojkic and Dragan Velic energetically demanded freedom for Kosovo Serbs and more concrete meassures to stop the post war violence organized by extremist Kosovo Albanians.

    THE TEXT OF THE MEMORANDUM

    Bearing in mind the postulates of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (1948) which determines the basic rights and freedoms of every human being regardless of ethnic or religious background; the principles stated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1976), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as well as the Security Council Resolution 1244, which requires protection and promotion of human rights of all ethnic groups in Kosovo, the safe and free return of all refugees and displaced persons as well as the ensuring of public safety and order with full protection and freedom of movement of all inhabitants the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohia is issuing the following

    M E M O R A N D U M

    ON THE MASSIVE AND SYSTEMATIC VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN POST WAR KOSOVO

    After the end of Kosovo war and return of Albanian refugees the repression of Milosevic's undemocratic regime was supplanted by the repression of extremist Kosovo Albanians against Serbs and other non-Albanian communities despite the presence of international troops and the UN Mission. Freedom in Kosovo has not come for all equally. Therefore Kosovo remains a troubled region even after almost one year of international peace.

    Kosovo Serbs and other non-Albanian groups in Kosovo still live in ghettoes, without security; deprived of basic human rights – the rights of life, free movement and work. Their private property is still being usurped; their homes burned and looted even 10 months after the deployment of KFOR. In Kosovo today there is hardly any multiethnicity at all – in fact the reverse is true. Ethnic segregation is greater now than almost at any other time in Kosovo’s turbulent history. Not only are Serbs being under pressure to leave the Province but also the Romas, Slav Moslems, Croats, Serb speaking Jews and Turks. More than 80 Orthodox churches have been either completely destroyed or severely damaged since the end of the war. The ancient churches, many of which had survived 500 years of Ottoman Moslem rule, could not survive several months of the internationally guaranteed peace. Regretfully, all this happens in the presence of KFOR and UN. Kosovo more and more becomes ethnically clean while organized crime and discrimination against the non-Albanians is epidemic.

    Two thirds of the pre-war Serb population (more than 200.000 people) fled the Province under Albanian pressure. In addition, around 50.000 Romas, Slav Moslems, Croat Catholics and others had to leave Kosovo. More than 500 Serbs have been killed and nearly 700 abducted by Albanian extremists during this same period of peace. During the war around 300 Serb civilians were abducted by KLA and are still missing. At least 120.000 Serbs have lost their jobs overnight. All institutions, University, hospitals and factories were systematically purged by the KLA black robed "military police". This is a tragic record for any post war peace mission, especially for this mission in which the Western Governments and NATO have invested so much of their credibility and authority.

    Despite the sincere regret for all of the suffering of Kosovo Albanians during the war, retaliation against innocent civilians cannot be justified in any way. It is becoming more and more a well-orchestrated nationalist ideology directed towards achieving the complete ethnic cleansing of the Province. The Albanian extremists are openly using violence and ethnic terror for their political goals in order to make the independence of the province a fait accompli.

    The present repression against non-Albanians is carried out with the full knowledge of the Albanian leaders. Sometimes these leaders formally condemn repressive actions but in reality have not done anything to stop the ongoing ethnic violence and discrimination. Even more, some of them are instigating rage against Serbs developing the idea of collective Serb guilt and branding all remaining Serb civilians as criminals. There is much evidence that the KLA/KPC leaders bear direct responsibility for the most of the post-war crimes and acts of violence committed in Kosovo.

    As soon as KFOR entered the Province KLA militias took over the power in majority of cities and towns and immediately organized illegal detention centers for Serbs, Romas and Albanian "collaborators". They began killing people listed as alleged criminals and seized a large amount of property previously owned by Serbs and other non-Albanians. KLA groups and their leaders are also directly linked with Albanian mafia clans and have developed a very sophisticated network of organized crime, drug smuggling, prostitution, white slavery, and weapons trading which makes Kosovo today a bastion of organized crime in Europe.

    The strategy behind the KLA purge of Serbs was very simple – quarter by quarter of a city would be cleansed of Serbs and their property would be either burned or sold for a high price to Albanian refugees (including Albanians from Albania and Macedonia who flowed into the province through unprotected borders along with the hundreds of thousands of Kosovo refugees). The KLA, although officially disbanded is still active and their secret police are continuing their intimidation and executions. Now more and more of their victims are disobedient Kosovo Albanians who refuse to pay their "taxes" and "protection money" to extremists. The Albanization of Kosovo is proceeding in a way many ordinary Albanians did not want. The gangsters have stepped into the vacuum left by the slowness of the West to adequately instill full control over the Province. Kosovo is becoming more like Albania: corrupt, anarchic, and ruled by the gun and the gang.

    Serbs and many non-Albanians still do not have access to hospitals, the University and public services, simply because they cannot even freely walk in the street. They are unemployed and confined to life in poverty of their rural enclaves out of which they can move only under the KFOR military escort. The Serbian language is completely banished from the public life. All Serb inscriptions, road signs and advertisements have been systematically removed and the usage of Serbian language in Albanian dominated areas is reason enough for anyone to be shot right on the spot. Thousands of Serb books in public libraries have been systematically burned while all unguarded Serb cultural monuments and statues have been torn down and destroyed.

    The Serbs who remain in major cities are in the worst situation of all. Out of 40.000 pre-war Serb population in Pristina today there remain only 300 elderly people who live in a kind of house arrest. They cannot go into the street without military protection and only thanks to KFOR soldiers and humanitarian organizations do they receive food and medicines, which they are not allowed to buy in Albanian shops. Almost all Serb shops are now in Albanian hands. In other areas Albanians are greatly pressuring Serbs to sell their property under threats and extortion. Those who refuse usually have their houses torched or are killed as an example to other Serbs. Grenade attacks on Serb houses; on few remaining Serb shops and restaurants force more and more Serbs to leave Kosovo. If this repression and persecution is continued unabated it is likely that soon most of the remaining Serbs will also be forced to flee Kosovo.

    Kosovo Serb community led by the Serb National Council has strongly condemned the violence committed by the Milosevic regime during the war but has also many times protested to the UNMIK and KFOR authorities because of terror and discrimination carried out by extremist Kosovo Albanian groups and their leaders. Nevertheless moderate Serb leadership has agreed to participate in the interim UN led administration but only as observers and under concrete conditions. The participation of the Serb representatives will be continued only if the situation for the Kosovo Serb population is improved.

    We are obliged to conclude that so far the Security Council Resolution 1244 has not only been implemented but all most important human rights charters and conventions have been blatantly violated under the very protectorate of the United Nations Mission. This seriously compromises the World’s Organization as well as the NATO led military forces, which have essentially failed to prevent the counter repression and revenge attacks by Kosovo Albanians after the war. One year after the war Kosovo is still ruled by apartheid.

    In order to improve the security situation in Kosovo and the position of the Serb and non-Albanian population we demand the following:

    1. UN Security Council should make a thorough reassessment of the results of the Kosovo Peace Mission and insist that immediate concrete measures are taken by UNMIK and KFOR to ensure peace, stability and full respect of human rights for all inhabitants as required by UNSC Resolution 1244. Serbs and other discriminated ethnic groups must be granted full freedom of life, work and movement, the right to have regular medical protection as well as the right of elementary, middle and high education in their own language.

    2. Immediate measures must be also undertaken to locate and free all Serb and non-Albanians who have been abducted by Albanian extremists since spring 1998 until now. As much as we support the freeing of the Albanian political prisoners from the prisons in Serbia proper we insist that the issue of the missing Serbs must be urgently resolved too. Kosovo Albanian political and military leaders must give concrete contribution to this process.

    3. UN Security Council should request from the UNMIK, KFOR and the Albanian political leaders to remove all obstacles, which prevent return of displaced Serbs, Romas and Slav Moslems. The Serb owned property must be restituted according to the principle of inviolability of the private property. The return of the displaced persons to Kosovo is one of the imperatives of the UNSCR 1244 and it cannot be observed only in respect to the Albanian refugees. Without the process of repatriation, the Serb community in Kosovo will not be able to participate in the political process of the Province.

    4. Beside investigation of the crimes committed by Milosevic’s regime the ICTY should immediately launch an investigation of crimes committed by the members of the KLA and other armed Albanian gangs during the war and in the post-war period.

    5. With absence of conditions for the return of over 300.000 non Albanian expellees and a presence of a couple of hundred thousand illegal Albanian citizens in Kosovo it is evident that there are not even the basic conditions for civil registration and municipal elections. Therefore the participating in the registration and elections in the situation with two thirds of Serb population out of the province is regrettably impossible for our community at the moment. Without the freedom of life there cannot be free elections.

    6. In order to ensure the long term survival of the Serb and non-Albanian population in the conditions of severe ethnic discrimination and organized intimidation it is essential to create a political framework for the functional self-rule for the Serbs and other non-Albanian groups in Kosovo. The Agenda for Coexistence, which has already been agreed with the UNMIK authorities, may serve as a basis for such a process. SNC remains strongly opposed to division of Kosovo as well as to the changing of internationally recognized borders.

    7. In the situation of absence of viable democratic institutions in Kosovo and the continuation of the repressive and totalitarian rule of Belgrade regime in Serbia proper it is not possible to resolve the final status of Kosovo for the time being. Nevertheless this situation must not be used to cut all links between the Province of Kosovo, Republic of Serbia and FRY and thus create the basis for unilateral proclamation of independence. According to the international law, Resolution 1244 and the Helsinki Final Act the sovereignty of FRY cannot be changed without the consent of the legal FRY authorities and the Security Council, especially in the situation when all non-Albanian population is in danger to collectively leave the province before the rule of apartheid and the terror of Albanian extremists. One year after the war it is evident that the Albanian leaders have failed to demonstrate sincere commitment to the principles of a democratic civil society and the respect of basic human rights of non-Albanian population.

    8. Security Council should make a strong appeal to UNESCO, which has failed to pay any attention to the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Serb cultural and religious heritage in the post war period. All medieval religious monuments must be immediately proclaimed the world heritage and thus be protected by the authority of the United Nations.

    In Gracanica, April 28, 2000

    Bishop Artemije Radosavljevic, Dr Rada Trajkovic, Fr. Sava Janjic, Randjel Nojkic DraganVelic, Dusan Ristic

    ALBANIAN TERRORISTS BLEW UP SERBIAN CHURCH IN GRNCAR

    (Serbia info, 29. 4. 2000)

    April 28, 2000 - Kosovska Vitina, April 28th 2000 (Tanjug) - Albanian terrorists blew up "St. Petka" church by a time bomb in village Grncar in Kosovska Vitina district, this morning around 7.45 a.m., on the day of Good Friday, radio amateurs from Kosmet reported.

    The church, which is at the border of the village, was crashed to the ground.

    "St. Petka" church is in the region controlled by the American KFOR troops, whose main purpose should be protection of Serbs and their property.

    Albanian terrorists set bomb during the night and arranged it to explode around 8 a.m., at the time when on Good Friday, the day of Christ's suffering, chapters from the Bible were read at the church.

    This confirms that their intention was not only to demolish the church, but also to hurt Serbs, the believers, great number of which was expected in today's mass. Victims were avoided as the mass was late because the priest's car broke down.

    The way in which the explosive was set up shows that it was done by Albanian terrorists from the orders of so-called "KLA", trained in NATO camps in Albania and Germany.

    KOSOVO ALBANIAN TERRORISTS MINE SERB CHURCH ON ORTHODOX HOLIDAY

    (Borba daily, 29. 4. 2000)

    On Christian Orthodox Good Friday, ethnic Albanian terrorists completely destroyed the church of St. Paraskeva in Grncar village, municipality of Kosovska Vitina in southeastern Kosovo and Metohija province, with a time bomb at about 8 a.m., local amateur radio operators said.

    The church is located in a region of this southern Serbian province which is controlled by the international force KFOR U.S. contingent.

    Terrorists planted the bomb during the night, timing it to go off during liturgy on Good Friday.

    Fortunately, the service was delayed, so that there were no casualties among the Orthodox Christians who planned to attend the liturgy.

    DESECRATED SERBIAN CEMETERY IN AJVALIJA

    (Serbia info, 29. 4. 2000)

    April 28, 2000 - Pristina, April 28th (Tanjug) - In Ajvalija, a place near Gracanica, Serbian orthodox cemetery was desecrated, radio amateurs from Kosovo-Metohija said today.

    According to the report of an Albanian from that village, militant Albanians were those who desecrated or destroyed tombstones in Serbian orthodox cemetery in Ajvalija.

    Ajvalija was Serbian village until two decades ago, with only six Albanian families living there.

    Terrorist actions of Albanian separatists then, led to the fact that Ajvalija became a place with mostly Albanian population, but there were still over 30 Serbian houses. But, on the arrival of KFOR and UNMIK forces, Ajvalija became ethnic clean Albanian place.

    Serbian residents of Ajvalija escaped because of the invasion of militant Albanians and because of the lack of protection from KFOR peace forces.

    ALBANIAN EXTREMISTS PELT WITH STONES BUSSES FULL OF SERBS

    (Tanjug, 29.04.2000)

    Kosovska Mitrovica - Albanian extremists, on Friday around 15:00, pelted with stones three buses taking Serbs on Good Friday to visit the Orthodox cemetery in the southern part of the divided town of Kosovska Mitrovica.

    Regional spokesman for the U.N. civilian mission Mike Kids said that in the attack there were no injured, but that bus windows were shattered.

    Serbian sources in the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica said, however, that four civilians were injured in the attack.

    PRESEVO VALLEY UNDER CONTROL: ORTUNO

    (B2 – 92, 29. 4. 2000)

    Pristina, Friday – KFOR Commander Juan Ortuno said today that he would not allow conflicts to erupt in the Presevo Valley in southern Serbia. Ortuno told media in Pristina that the situation in the region was under control and that international troops would step up their efforts in the Presevo Valley. The new KFOR commander said that his forces would fully implement the military-technical agreement signed with the Yugoslav Army in Kumanovo last year.

    SNF OFFICIAL OLIVER IVANOVIC: NO CONDITIONS FOR CENSUS, ELECTIONS IN KOSOVO AND METOHIJA

    (Borba daily, 29. 4. 2000)

    Serb National Forum Kosovska Mitrovica regional Executive Board President Oliver Ivanovic conferred in Kosovska Mitrovica on Thursday with a delegation of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on a census and elections, and the return of expelled Serbs to the southern Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija.

    The OSCE delegation was headed by Austrian Foreign Ministry Secretary-General in the capacity of special envoy of the OSCE chairman Albert Rohan.

    Ivanovic denied the OSCE delegation stand that Serbs would improve their situation by taking part in the planned census. He said the Serb community would thus merely legalize the existing situation and achieve that expelled Kosovo Serbs can never return to their homes.

    Ivanovic said he believed a trial census should be organized this year, only for ethnic Albanians, since they boycotted the Yugoslav censuses in 1981 and 1991. Serbs would take part in the census in 2001, when it has been called for all of Yugoslavia, Ivanovic said.

    He said Serbs should be integrated into the new society in Kosovo and Metohija, but only as part of Serbia and Yugoslavia.

    The participation of Serbs in the Temporary Administrative Council of Kosovo, on which the OSCE delegation had insisted, is possible only when serious talks take place and the return of 350,000 expelled Serbs and other non-Albanians us organized, Ivanovic said.

    SECURITY COUNCIL DELEGATION MEETS DEMONSTRATORS

    (B2 – 92, 29. 4. 2000)

    Pristina, Friday – The UN Security Council delegation to Kosovo today met representatives of Albanian demonstrators in Pristina. The Kosovo capital has been brought to a standstill for three days by protesters demanding the release of Albanians held in Serbian prisons. Protest representative Shukri Klinaku said after the meeting that the UN delegation had said they would brief the Security Council on the Albanians' demands.

    In other news from Kosovo, KFOR today reported that the body of an elderly Serb woman was found on Wednesday night in Gnjilane. KFOR spokesman Frank Benjaminson also told media that an elderly Romany had suffered serious head injures in a bomb attack in Gnjilane yesterday.

    MONTENEGRIN POLICE ARREST 15 TURKISH CITIZENS AT BORDER

    (Borba daily, 29. 4. 2000)

    Late Wednesday, Montenegrin police arrested 15 Turkish citizens at the Bozaj border crossing who were trying to cross from Montenegro into Albania with forged passports.

    All the arrested persons are men, aged between 25 and 40, and present indications are that they are Kurds. It is also believed that they arrived in Bozaj in chartered taxis from Podgorica.

    The investigation will determine who organized their transit through Montenegro, and from where, and who was to receive them at the Albanian border town of Hani i Hotit, the Security Center of Podgorica confirmed.

    ALBANIAN NARCO-MAFIA TOOK GLOBAL LEADERSHIP

    (Glas javnosti/Digest, 29. 4. 2000)

    Belgrade – FBI Deputy Director, Floyd Clark, said few days ago that entire world was mistaken with Kosovo Albanians, Glas Javnosti reported. Clark had in mind that Albanian mafia and drug dealers took leadership over their Colombian, Italian and Chinese "colleagues". Centers of Albanian drug market are Pristina, Pec and Prizren, main towns in Kosovo. (*)

    RUSSIA HAS A SERIOUS PLAN FOR KOSOVO

    (Danas/Digest, 29. 4. 2000)

    Moscow – On the permanent joint military committee, on May 10 in Brussels, Russia will present NATO a serious plan of settlement in Kosovo and insist that it is necessary to adopt urgent measures to carry out U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244 on Kosovo and stabilize the situation in that Yugoslav province, General Leonid Ivashov told Itar-Tass. (*)

    IFJ: NO MEDIA SUPERVISION IN KOSOVO

    (Danas, 29. 4. 2000)

    Brussels – International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemned Kouchner’s UN administration plan to pass a low on media supervision in Kosovo and Metohija. (*)

    PATRIARCH IN KOSOVO

    (Danas/Digest, 29. 4. 2000)

    Serb Patriarch Pavle will spend Eastern holidays in Patriarchate of Pec. (*)

    PASHAL MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS PATRIARCH PAVLE

    (Pravoslavlje Press, The Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Church, 29. 4. 2000)

    The Serbian Orthodox Church to Her Spiritual Children at Pascha, Year 2000 Pavle

    By the Grace of God

    Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch, with all the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church, to all the honorable clergy, venerable monastics and all the sons and daughters of our Holy Church: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit with the most joyous greeting:

    Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

    Behold, dear brothers and sisters, in celebrating Christ’s resurrection we Christians have greeted one another with this greeting of eternal joy and life for nearly two thousand years, and each time we ask ourselves: What does this greeting and this magnificent event mean for us human beings, for all of creation? What is its ultimate significance for man and the world?

    This greeting and this miraculous event mean, first of all, that through the resurrection of Christ life has conquered death, once and for all. It means that through the resurrection the light of the eternal Word of God—who made everything out of nothing, and who illumines every one who comes into this world, is victorious over darkness and gloom, according to the eternal plan. It means that man is created for eternity, and not temporality; for immortality, and not disappearance and destruction!

    This also means that by Christ’s resurrection human dignity has become eternal and indestructible. And so it means that good shall ultimately triumph over evil, that love is everlasting, and that God is the God not of the dead but of the living.

    This greeting also means that Christ’s resurrection makes human hope indestructible, renders every hopelessness absurd. It means that human society is not a just a senseless earthly bazaar, but a community full of eternal significance, inviting one and all to ceaseless growth, both in time and for all eternity, into the immeasurable measure of Christ’s divine-human stature. It means that mankind is created for permanence, not fleetingness, for immortality, and not death. This greeting and event means that the world is not the grindstone of death, but the workshop of eternal life. It means that human works and creativity, when they are true and virtuous, can become lasting testimonies to human creative cooperation with God!

    It means that man truly has reason to be born!

    This wonderful greeting also means that the resurrection of Christ not only blends the leaven of eternal life into human nature, but into the totality of God’s creation, for by it everything that exists has been filled once and for all with immortality!

    Christ’s resurrection means that life is not given just to be taken away and destroyed. Earthly life rather becomes the yeast of heavenly, eternal life, a foretaste of the everlasting Kingdom of God. Through the resurrection of Christ heaven calls us out of the darkness of death into the fullness of immortality.

    The resurrection of Christ is the guardian of the sanctity of life—of children born and unborn. It is the living witness that abortion is as much a sin as any other murder, because life in the light of the resurrection is revealed to us in all its entirety as sacred.

    The resurrection of Christ also means that God remembers with an everlasting memory, and that He preserves every creature, especially reason-endowed beings, for eternity.

    We Christians greet each other with this holy greeting because the resurrection of Christ bestows and reveals the sanctity of the human body. It is a testimony that just as abortion is a sin, as is every murder, so also is cremation a sin. Whoever cremates the dead, whoever steals relics in this way, shows their lack of faith in the living God and in the resurrection of the dead. Cremation represents a hidden desire for self-destruction and the destruction of mankind. Had Christ not risen, there would be no holy relics. Holy relics are human remains filled with the warmth and power of the risen Christ. Does not the Serbian word "to bury" the deceased [sahraniti] mean "to protect him," and not "to destroy him"?!

    By the resurrection Christ’s tomb became a life-bearing tomb. From this we learn that our human graves are doors to eternal life, and not places of decomposition and dissolution. This is why Christians have for centuries gathered around His life-bearing tomb in Jerusalem, and then around the graves of their forebears. Each tomb is mystically Christ’s tomb, particularly the tombs of the holy martyrs around which Christians have gathered since the times of the ancient catacombs. Even today, when we celebrate the divine services, we serve on altar tables and on antimins which contain relics of the holy martyrs.

    What are our church buildings but symbols of Christ’s life-bearing tomb and of His risen Body? The Church has gathered around Him for centuries, coming together around the Holy Eucharist—the Body and Blood of Christ, Holy Communion. The history and life of all Christian peoples is centered on the Mystery of our Holy Communion with the Body and Blood of the risen Christ.

    Our people, illumined by the light of Christ’s life-bearing tomb and resurrection, have for centuries gathered around the graves and the relics of those who have been enlightened and illumined by that light. For centuries and even today they gather around the tombs and relics of Saint Simeon the Myrrh-flowing at Hilendar and at Studenica, of Saint Sava at Milesevo and Vracar, of their holy Archbishops and Patriarchs at the Patriarchate of Pec, at the tomb of the Holy King Stefan of Decani at the Decani Monastery, at Monastery Devic around the relics of the Venerable Joannikije of Devic, at the relics of the Holy Great Martyr Lazar of Kosovo at both the old and new Ravanica and in the capital city of Belgrade, at the relics of Saint Basil of Ostrog—glory to him and mercy—, and of Saint Peter of Cetinje.

    Just as the majestic Church of the Holy Resurrection in Jerusalem grew out of the life-bearing tomb of Christ, so have many churches grown up around the tombs of His martyrs and faithful witnesses all over the world, just as the great cathedral church of the Serbian people has sprung up out of the ashes of our Holy Father Sava on Vracar.

    In all these places and in all these temples, the Church of God gathers from all corners of the world around the Bread of Life, the risen Christ, Who came down from heaven so that all those who eat of Him may not perish, but have everlasting life.

    Is it therefore any wonder that we greet each other with this most joyous greeting: ‘Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!,’ rejoicing in the holiness of the bread with which we are fed, in the holiness of the wine and water which we drink, in the holiness of the sun which warms us and in the holiness of our everlasting human brotherhood and community rooted in the risen Christ!

    And especially as this event and this greeting also remind us that the Day of Judgment awaits all men at the end of this age and of this world, when every deed will be revealed. They remind us that the risen Christ will judge both the living and the dead with His co-suffering love and justice, and that His Kingdom will have no end.

    And so, filled with eternal joy and illumined with the everlasting light of the risen Christ, let us greet one another, and every being and all of creation, with this most joyous greeting: Christ is risen!

    Let us greet the mother bending over the cradle of her sick child: Christ is risen!

    Let us greet the sick on their sickbeds: Christ is risen!

    Let us greet the dead lying in state: Christ is risen!

    Let us greet brothers and sisters gathered at the grave: Christ is risen!

    Let us greet prisoners in prison, the despised and humiliated: Christ is risen!

    Let us greet workers and laborers, travelers by land and sea: Christ is risen!

    Let us greet the educated and illiterate, all who are searching for the eternal meaning and mystery of life: Christ is risen!

    Let us greet those suffering in Kosovo and Metohija, and all those who have been driven from their ancestral homesteads, all those whose churches have been burned and graveyards destroyed, and all those throughout the world who are suffering and tormented: Christ is risen! Bringing faith, hope and love, and taking away suffering and death.

    And finally, our dear spiritual children, illumined with the light of the resurrection, let us all forgive one another by Christ’s resurrection, let us embrace each other joyously, and sing together with one heart and one soul the song of light and eternal life: CHRIST IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD, TRAMPLING DOWN DEATH BY DEATH, AND UPON THOSE IN THE TOMBS BESTOWING LIFE!

    Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

    Given at the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade at Pascha, 2000.

    Your intercessors before the risen Lord:

    Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch PAVLE

    Metropolitan of Zagreb and Ljubljana JOVAN, Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Coastlands AMPHILOHIJE, Metropolitan of Midwestern America CHRISTOPHER, Metropolitan of Dabro-Bosna NIKOLAJ, Bishop of Zica STEFAN, Bishop of Sumadija SAVA, Bishop of Shabac-Valjevo LAVRENTIJE, Bishop of Buda DANILO, Bishop of Nish IRINEJ, Bishop of Zvornik-Tuzla VASILIJE, Bishop of Srem VASILIJE, Bishop of Banja Luka JEFREM, Bishop-Administrator of Temisoar LUKIJAN, Bishop of Canada GEORGIJE, Bishop of Australia and New Zealand (New Gracanica Metropolitanate) NIKANOR, Bishop of for America and Canada (New Gracanica Metropolitanate) LONGIN, Bishop of Eastern America MITROPHAN, Bishop of Banat CHRYSOSTOM, Bishop of Backa IRINEJ, Bishop of Great Britain and Scandinavia DOSITEJ, Bishop of Ras and Prizren ARTEMIJE, Retired Bishop of Zahumlje and Hercegovina ATANASIJE, Bishop of Bihac and Petrovac CHRYSOSTOM, Bishop of Osijek and Baranja LUKIJAN, Bishop of Central Europe CONSTANTINE, Retired Bishop of Western Europe DAMASKIN, Bishop of Western Europe LUKA, Bishop of Timok JUSTIN, Bishop of Vranje PAHOMIJE, Bishop of Western America JOVAN, Bishop of Slavonia SAVA, Bishop of Branicevo IGNATIJE, Bishop of Milesevo FILARET, Bishop of Dalmatia FOTIJE, Bishop of Zahumlje and Hercegovina GRIGORIJE, Bishop of Hvostno ATANASIJE, Bishop of Budimlje JOANIKIJE and Bishop of Jegar PORFIRIJE.

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