Holy Archangels' Monastery near Prizren, Serbia

"You showed me the church of Yours as the source of health", Dusan's gift charter. -Full reconstruction was interrupted... -In June 1999 a monk from the monastery, Fr. Chariton, was abducted. -Now - a spiritual center gathering the remaining Orthodox people from Prizren and around. The young monastic brotherhood is full of religious enthusiasm and remains confident that one day Holy Archangels will be completely reconstructed.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

His Grace Bishop of Raska and Prizren Artemije

Spiritual father of Holy Archangels' monks gave an interview for "Herald of Kosovo and Metohija"

His Grace Bishop of Raska and Prizren Artemije (Radosavljevic) estimated that the representatives of the International community in Kosovo were only efficient in protecting Albanian minority in Serbia.

Bishop: Eleven days were enough to give freedom to Albanians, the right and possibility to act, as they will under the protection of the international community.
And after 11 months they still act in that manner towards the Serbs. Yesterday one man was killed in Pasjane, Bishop Atanasije said. On Good Friday my church in Grncare was destroyed. One elderly woman was strangled in her apartment in Gnjilane…All this was permitted to them as a certain jeopardized minority; theinternational community enabled everything. Great injustice was done in Kosovo after the arrival of the international community.
Kouchner: It is absolutely right, and I deeply regret all that, for every
person that was killed and dead. But it was easier to bomb from the air
and to go to war than to protect every single person / it is absolutely
impossible. We cannot post a guard in front of every Serbian representative
or other community.
Bishop: Find the criminals. Dismantle the crime; do not protect the individuals. Who was identified as a criminal until now? Provide the names. Mr. Lavrov asked the same question.
Kouchner: We have about 400 men imprisoned.
Bishop: Correct - but it is not known what they were charged for. The Court did not process them.
Kouchner: The justice system is unable to work sufficiently after only two months.
Bishop: I understand this. That is the reason we request international judges.
Kouchner: We talked about this, but I myself cannot be a judge. We have to bring them. We had a conversation with the international representatives of the Security Council about this issue. I promise you they will come. Although I do not know when.
Bishop: If the Albanians would be the judges, no Albanian will be found guilty, but every Serb would be guilty. You know that even I was
accused as criminal in Orahovac.
Kouchner: I was accused, too. I am always together with you.
Your Grace, the mentioned conversation happened some five years ago. Bernard Kouchner was gone, as well as Hans Haekerup, Michael Steiner, Harri
Holkeri. Now the SRSG is Mr. Jessen Petersen. Did anything change since then;
did anything improve for Serbs and other minority communities?

(His Grace quoted one epic poem suuing that he has to tell only truth.)
I would be very happy if I could say that after 6,5 years the situation in
Kosovo became peaceful, that it has improved, that the Serbs enjoy their
rights, that they move freely, that nobody provokes them. It would be luck
if it were so and if I were able to say so.
In essence, nothing has changed since the time that the conversation
with Mr. Kouchner took place, six years ago. If we may talk about any
change, it is a change in quantity, not in quality. This means there are not
as many murders as it used to be, but the attacks on Serbs happen even
now. Even today there is no basic safety and security in Kosovo, there is
no freedom of movement. The murders of young men, last summer, near
Strpce, two days ago young men were beaten in the churchyard in Mogila
near Kosovska Vitina - these events can testify to the above mentioned
statement. The same holds true of the recent throwing of hand grenades
at the house of the father of Mr. Milorad Todorovic, vice-president of the
Coordination Center of Serbia. Every day some attack on Serbs, men
and children or their property in Kosovo happens and this could be used
as testimony, too. This means there are no basic human rights for Serbs
and other non-Albanians. There is no proper health care - the hospitals
are unapproachable to Serbian doctors as well as to the Serbian patients.
The issue of the education of Serbian children is still unresolved. In many
villages the lecturing, if it could be called lecturing, is held in private
houses or cellars.
The only places where Serbs can claim that they live slightly more
normally are larger enclaves, which are overwhelmingly Serbian environments,
such as Gracanica and Crkolez with surrounding villages in
Central Kosovo, bigger villages in Gnjilane region, Strpce in Brezovica
or the Northern Kosovo. Observing the life of the Serbian people, it could
be said that the life in these parts is nearly normal. Because there, in
these surroundings, in those enclaves, they feel free and safe. But the
feeling is that these are islands, either small or big, and this produces the
impression of uncertainty. Anywhere else that the Serbs move from that
particular enclave, they move at their own risk, their lives are in question.
The incidents from last summer and autumn happened in such way.
• After this conversation international representatives promised that " a cruel clash with the culprits of violence shall follow". The NATO secretary at that time, Mr. Robertson, said: "We will defeat every extremism." Have they apprehended any murderer? Have they identified anyone involved in the destruction of monuments and houses?
Only the murderer of Dimitrije Popovic from Gracanica, who was killed
a year and half ago, was apprehended and arrested. This happened only
because one young Serb was in vehicle that followed the car that the murderers drove. He alarmed the police and the murderers were caught.Thus, they were the only murderers who were discovered and caught. One of them was sentenced and the other was acquitted.
But as far as those who destroyed the Serbian churches or houses or villages in Kosovo are concerned, nobody, up to the present day was discovered, nobody was brought to face the justice. The promises of the international community that they will defeat any extremism most probably concerned and meant the Serbs and Serbian
extremism, not the Albanian. It is quite obvious that under the authority
of the international community so many evils and troubles happened in Kosovo, in the past six and a half years. These facts contradict all their promises, or as Serb say: Empty promises mean nothing. Serbs do not believe any more in those promises, since they had enough of empty talks and promises, we are waiting to see practical actions and the results of their presence in Kosovo. Unfortunately, nothing
happened and it is questionable whether the international community will ever play an unbiased role - to treat everyone equally.
• Your Grace, you might know why it became customary for the Serbs in Kosovo
to be called a minority community? How could it have happened that one
nation in a part of its own country became a minority?

In my opinion this is premeditated. Exactly by launching such a designation for the Serbs in Kosovo the status of Kosovo is being prejudiced in advance. Serbs may be designated a minority in Kosovo only in the case that Kosovo becomes an independent state. As long as Kosovo is a component part of Serbia, Serbs cannot be a minority in their own state. On numerous occasions I have reiterated this fact to many interlocutors from the international community. Not so long ago, a meeting was held in Gracanica and the chief of UNMIK police, during a conversation mentioned several times of the Serbs - minority, minority. I interfered and said: "Sir, the Serbs in Kosovo are not a minority, since Kosovo is not an independent state. With such expressions you prejudice the future status of Kosovo. " Thus I reacted sharply. Therefore this became a custom, since this suits the international community in order to proceed with its goal. It also suits the Kosovo Albanians. However, it is quite unexplainable why the Serbian diplomacy and the Serb representatives did not always react properly when such a designation for Serbs from Kosovo was used. If they have had reacted adequately, certainly this name would not be used any longer.
• Long before anybody undertook any action, you have had, Your Grace, the talks in Washington, in the Department of State, about the plans for the return of Serbs. At that time you said: "The plan is that the Serbs first return to the already established enclaves, and not to the places in Kosovo where they would be immediately killed", and you have added that: "Mrs. Albright has decided to persist in the implementation of the programme". What has happened since then and what has influenced the fact that until today only 13,500 IDP-s have returned, as this is the official name for the exiles from Kosovo?
This is an official statement of UNMIK that 13,500 IDP-s have returned. But it is far fetched that all of them are Serbs. This figure represents all exiles - Roma, Ashkali, Muslims, and others. Therefore, out of this number I do not believe that more than 3000 or 4000 are Serbs, a maximum 5000 returned to Kosovo in the period of six and half years. In the same period many more Serbs have left Kosovo compared to
those who have returned. The sale of Serbian property in Kosovo continues, under pressure or in certain other ways, thus it absolutely cannot be said that the return
process has brought any positive results. Concerning what was said in the beginning, we simply did not want to wait for years to pass, but we wanted the exiled people to return as soonBabus or any other village, starting from Gracanica than from Kragujevac, for example.
One should keep in mind that when we suggested proceeding in this
way, with the intent of speeding up the return process. But there was
no willingness on the part of the international community to support this
idea, as well as by the representatives of Albanian Interim Institutions in
Kosovo. However, today it is said that Serbs may return to the present
enclaves, not only to where they have originally lived - I will never accept
such a suggestion. This would mean that, in fact, we accept ethnic cleansing
of the Serbs, and through such an act we go against the UN SC Resolution
1244 which guarantees to the exiled persons the right of return to
their homes. That means the return to where they used to live, not again
to reside in certain ghettoes, enclaves or protected zones, either around
monasteries or in any other way. This cannot be accepted, since this does not represent a proper return. Even when the Albanians returned, nobody placed limits on where they would return or counted how many of them returned. So it happened that along with the Albanians who have returned many of those who never lived in Kosovo arrived as well. Several hundred thousand Albanians from Albania came to Kosovo and most certainly thanks to them such persecution and pogrom of Serbian people took place...

to be continued

New sites of supporting Christian survival in Kosovo and Metohija:

Sunday, March 19, 2006

I was in Holy Archangel Monastery, I was in Kosovo/Metohija

A thousands of international tourists and Orthodox believers visited Holy Archangel Monastery. What they have seen there? This part is dedicated to you who are between them. Freely express your fillings and thoughts about Monastery through comments.
Also, send photos you've made here.

Sincerely yours.

"I can speak at length about Kosovo, and it was difficult to know if the politicians or the press were telling us the right thing," (James Blunt - a pop singer, ex British soldier in Kosovo)

Related articles:
What for, KFOR - We continue through Kosovo

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Why is a bombed mosque major news, while bombed churches are ignored?

Mary Mostert
February 26, 2006
The front page of my local paper last Thursday was taken up with color pictures and the Los Angeles Time article about the bombing of the Shiite Golden Dome Mosque of Samarra, Iraq and the repercussions of that bombing — presumably by radical Sunni Muslims.According to the media, this battle between Muslim sects may lead to civil war. I haven't written about it because I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out why the bombing of one mosque in Iraq in 2006 is a worldwide news event, but the bombing of more than 150 Serbian Christian Churches and monasteries in Kosovo by Albanian Muslims didn't even make it to the back pages of most American and European newspapers?FAR more is being reported about the bombing of this one Shiite Mosque in Samarra than has been reported in US and European media about the Albanian Muslim attacks on 150 Serbian Orthodox Christian Churches that have been bombed, or set afire and vandalized in Kosovo?Kosovo has been under the governmental control of NATO since the 1999 bombing of Kosovo and Belgrade ordered by President Clinton. In 2004, under the watchful eyes of NATO troops, from March 17-20, Albanian Muslims totally destroyed or badly vandalized 30 Christian Churches in Kosovo. Twelve Christian Churches in Prizren, the only ones that had not been destroyed by Albanian Muslims in the previous 4 year of NATO control, were blown up or torn down during those 4 days.In Samarra, the fire was still smoldering at the Muslim Shiite Mosque when President Bush led the Western nations in condemning the attack on the Shiite Mosque and promised to provide funds to rebuild it. In Kosovo, not only have those Serb Churches, many of which contained historic art, not been rebuilt, the international community seems to be getting ready to reward the Albanians for their vandalism by taking Kosovo away from the Serbs and GIVING it to the Albanians, although most of them are actually from Albania — not Kosovo. Over a million Albanians fled their country when its economy collapsed in the early 1990s.What will happen to the remaining Serbs in Kosovo if the Albanians who burned down their churches are in control and NATO withdraws? Rev. Archimandrite, a Greek Orthodox priest in Boise, Idaho who is President of the Relief Fund for the Decani Monastery in Kosovo, predicts the following after a visit to Kosovo:"If Kosovo and Metohija becomes independent and the UN withdraws it's shall then be end of the lives of the Serbian people, as all property including homes, land, and farms, as well as hospitals and schools, all will be lost. Apparently all the blame is put on the Serbians and no one else! Why are the Serbian people all to blame and who told the world that it's the fault of the Serbian people? When shall the hour of truth be revealed? The reality is that Kosovo and Metohija is falling before our eyes and we pay no attention to this fact, but we judge just the Serbians and no one else. Enough! Let the Serbian people be free too! Let the Serbian people live among their brothers! Serbia within the Providence of Kosovo and Methojia desires not to hear the words of Independence."When we speak of the losses of Kosovo we must include the Serbian Orthodox monasteries (for both nuns and monks), churches, and cemeteries. Martyrdom is rampart and bodies are not found, as was the situation with the Hieromartyr Hariton the New Martyr of Serbia, who himself was buried in the sacred grounds of Kosovo without his head."Everything Serbian will be excluded in this new call for independence. All Serbian language and culture will be extinguished from Kosovo. Already we are finding blacked out signs written in Serbian along the road sides, even those directing the faithful to the Decani Monastery?"Death will be rampart, the loss of lives will be too high to count and no one will pay attention to this factor in the media. ...This independence is not for the Serbians but for the non-Serbian, Albanian Muslims, intent on taking over the sacred fields as they continue to pressure the free world."It is unbelievable to me that so many people talk about how Kosovo and Metohija should live. Even today some think that the best way to accomplish independence for Kosovo and Metohija is simply to banish the Serbian population from the region. To this day it is well known that more than 250,000 Kosovo Serbians have left the region, being forced out by the atrocities perpetrated upon them by the ethnic Albanian populations. Yet even in light of this forced exile so many western politicians and religious leaders lend their groundless opinions and keep offering their ideas, but they never realize that Kosovo and Metohija are simply Serbia!"Why are we hearing every day that Serbians better leave now or that it's their last hour?"Why are we hearing every day that even the electricity is shut off, does anyone really realize how freezing it is in Kosovo and Metohija in winter!"Why is there barbed wire surrounding towns and villages to protect Serbians, because if these barbed wires come down it's the last hour for the Serbians!"Why have we seen constantly UN Peace Keeping forces in these same said regions, because if they leave at the hour, again it's the last hour for the Serbians!"Why have soup kitchens been set up in these regions? Because the Serbians cannot go about getting food, because once they go beyond a certain border, rocks and gun fire occurs at the hour, and the lost of lives which no one really hears about in the media."Why does no one care or pay attention to the fact that more then 150 Serbian Orthodox Churches and Monasteries have been destroyed, and that one or two are repaired just to make someone look good?"Why is it that the Serbian population has pre-fabricated homes, while other non-Serbian homes have beautiful three story brick houses!"Why is it that the Serbian population cannot simply come home, and live in their homes, and on their farms that belonged to them in the first place?"Why is that so many refuse to hear the truth of the Serbian Orthodox Cemeteries that have been destroyed? Is it because of how truly tearful we would be reeling in shock as the number keeps rising and rising? I saw these graves myself. The number I was quoted by a local Bishop was 126 cemeteries."..."Is this the type of independent Kosovo that should currently exist?"Is it, indeed? Why, indeed, have we so shabbily treated our valiant World War II ally, the Serbian people, who saved the lives of more than 500 American pilots who were shot down when Yugoslavia was occupied by the Nazis? Who are we listening to? Could it be we are listening to the wrong people — those who burn down churches and behead Christians?How can we get so upset over one Shiite Mosque and totally ignore 150 Serbian Christian Churches and monasteries that have been bombed?For pictures of some of the destroyed churches, which never appeared in the US media, go to http://www.kosovo.com/churchdamaged1.html
Mary Mostert
Mary Mostert is a nationally-respected political writer. She was one of the first female political commentators to be published in a major metropolitan newspaper in the 1960s. After working in President Lyndon Johnson's failed War on Poverty programs in New York state, she became a Republican. She ran, unsuccessfully, for the New York State Senate and became campaign manager for a number of candidates. She once served as the secretary of "Positive Action NOW!"--a South African women's group that sought to reduce the hostility among South Africa's various racial, religious, and political groups.In recent years, Mary has researched, written, and edited articles for national talk show host Michael Reagan's Information Interchange on the Internet, and for The REAGAN MONITOR, a monthly newsletter that provides in-depth information on key issues. Her book, COMING HOME - Families Can Stop the Unraveling of America," was published in 1996 by Gold Leaf Press. Mary maintains a political media site,
Banner of Liberty. She can be contacted at
here for more information.© Copyright 2006 by Mary Mosterthttp://www.renewamerica.us/columns/mostert/060226

New articles:

March 14, 2006, The convenient death of Slobodan Milosevic
March 20, 2006, How to survive 600 years of terrorism and 60 years of communism
March 30, 2006 Hispanics in Los Angeles and Albanians in Kosovo demand legalization of their crimes