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Author Topic: Serbia and Kosovo  (Read 1570 times) Average Rating: 0
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authio
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« on: May 09, 2007, 01:32:48 PM »

I work at an NGO and today I got a request for a partnership in Kosovo.  When it mentioned the churches they work with, it says they work with "Catholic and Protestant churches but not with Orthodox churches because they don’t want cooperation with Albanians."

So I looked at the website of the Serbian Church, and it seems to me that Kosovo has the old patriarchal throne and other religious sites, but there are few Serbians around after the U.S.-Serbian war.
I don't quite understand - why would the group say the SOC wants "no cooperation with Albanians?"
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2007, 01:52:01 PM »

I'm probably not the best person to answer this (I think Serb1389 is probably better equipped), but maybe I can offer some insight.

The first thing I can say is that it does not sound true to me.  I say this because I once posted a series of documentaries (here) one of which showed Albanian Orthodox Priests concelebrating with Serbian clergy at Decani.

Also, I know the SOC took in many Albanians fleeling NATO bombs in 1999 (again something else I posted a long time ago).

There may be some apprehension by the Serbian clergy given the fact that they currently live under 24 hour UNMIK guard.  I think there is a great deal of skepticism by Serbian clergy towards the west, which also might explain their lack of interest.
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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2007, 12:44:25 AM »

Its a lot of "what if's" my friend.  I'll name a few variables just to give you an idea of how broad this question is. 

First of all, is it work IN Kosovo or in Serbia or Albania?  It makes a difference.  If its IN Serbia then the cooperation is not that bad.  Obviously some people are gona be emotional and etc. but I know for sure that the Patriarch is gung-ho about cooperating...but he's a saint.   Wink   Same thing goes for IN Albania...you get a little bit different flavor there though cuz the Orthodox Church there is brand spanking new so its totally different. 

Second, how is the church supposed to cooperate with helping Albanians in Kosovo?  The Kosovars are the ones who are literally blowing up the church in Kosovo....so how is it PHYSICALLY possible, much less emotionally, etc.??  No serbs can enter Kosovo, and even if they can pass the border usually the die within hours of being in Kosovo.  So where is the help supposed to come from? 

Its not a question of what Serbia wants, although i'm sure we can sit here and provide a few dozen examples of priests or even bishops who would never even look at Albanian much less help him. 

The problem is on the Kosovo side and the Albanians there.  Even Albanians in Albania have been cooperative. 

Even if the Serbian church said tommorrow "we plan on sending unprecedented aid to Kosovo" the Albanians would:

A.  never allow it because they don't want Serbs there...period (in one opinion...not mine)
B.  never allow it because that would mean more Serbs that they will have to deal with later
      -  this is a problem because there are a lot of crazies there who will kill these people even if the "government" of Kosovo allows them to be there. 

So in the end...the statements and questions are loaded because its a catch 22.  You can't go in there, but if you don't you're not considered "cooperative" so...yah. 

I hope this enlightens the situation for you. 

Me personally, I have no problems with Albanians.  Some of the nicest people in the world.  But a terrorist is a terrorist.  We can call them whatever we want, but at the end of the day, this is why the Serbian church is not there. 

Why don't you ask your people if they know whether or not a Serbian church ever existed in Kosovo?  And where it is now?  I would be interested in hearing their response.   
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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2007, 01:10:24 AM »

Second, how is the church supposed to cooperate with helping Albanians in Kosovo?  The Kosovars are the ones who are literally blowing up the church in Kosovo....so how is it PHYSICALLY possible, much less emotionally, etc.??  No serbs can enter Kosovo, and even if they can pass the border usually the die within hours of being in Kosovo.  So where is the help supposed to come from? 

Its not a question of what Serbia wants, although i'm sure we can sit here and provide a few dozen examples of priests or even bishops who would never even look at Albanian much less help him. 

The problem is on the Kosovo side and the Albanians there.  Even Albanians in Albania have been cooperative. 

Even if the Serbian church said tommorrow "we plan on sending unprecedented aid to Kosovo" the Albanians would:

A.  never allow it because they don't want Serbs there...period (in one opinion...not mine)
B.  never allow it because that would mean more Serbs that they will have to deal with later
      -  this is a problem because there are a lot of crazies there who will kill these people even if the "government" of Kosovo allows them to be there. 

So in the end...the statements and questions are loaded because its a catch 22.  You can't go in there, but if you don't you're not considered "cooperative" so...yah. 

I hope this enlightens the situation for you.

As Serb1389 said, it is nearly impossible for the SOC to coordinate and send aid.  My 3rd cousin is part of the Italian KFOR section in Western Kosovo and he says the amount of coordination (and beaurocracy, but I won't go there) just to transport about clergy under their protection is immense.  Not only the planning, but the resources, since they are so greatly outnumbered and constantly run into problems with 'uncooperative locals' even though the media would say otherwise.  This is just to move Bishops and Priests about, let alone transport aid from the Church and distribute it.
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2007, 08:12:59 AM »

As Serb1389 said, it is nearly impossible for the SOC to coordinate and send aid.  My 3rd cousin is part of the Italian KFOR section in Western Kosovo and he says the amount of coordination (and beaurocracy, but I won't go there) just to transport about clergy under their protection is immense.  Not only the planning, but the resources, since they are so greatly outnumbered and constantly run into problems with 'uncooperative locals' even though the media would say otherwise.  This is just to move Bishops and Priests about, let alone transport aid from the Church and distribute it.

Thank you for this.  Its always enlightening to hear first hand experiences (even though this is second hand... Wink)
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2007, 03:56:33 PM »

Thank you for this.  Its always enlightening to hear first hand experiences (even though this is second hand... Wink)

It is so disturbing the amount of protection needed to protect the Orthodox Monasteries/Holy Sites and Clergy.  He described how C1 Arieti (Italy's main battle tank) and B1 Centauri (Italy's mobile light/medium artillery) need to be positioned outside certain sites, barbed wire and watch towers installed, MG3 nests, checkpoints, etc.  To transport Bishops and Priests to visit various sites and the faithful, they need to be loaded into Puma AFVs and Dardo IFVs.

My 3rd cousin actually started on his conversion to Orthodoxy while stationed in Djakovica, before being moved elsewhere in the Italian sector (Klina).
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2007, 04:22:01 PM »

It is so disturbing the amount of protection needed to protect the Orthodox Monasteries/Holy Sites and Clergy. 

My response to this is that this is a perfect example of how the Kosovar Albanians are specifically attacking religious sites because they are also attacking Orthodoxy.

To which the naysayers, "no they attack any Serbian symbols". 
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« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2007, 02:21:25 AM »

My response to this is that this is a perfect example of how the Kosovar Albanians are specifically attacking religious sites because they are also attacking Orthodoxy.

A tragic truth.   Sad
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« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2007, 04:05:33 AM »

Sorry about the crude translation but my Italian is farely.... ineloquent.   Tongue  The joys of such a regionalised nation, my Friulian is much better than my Italian.  My translating skills aside, it again proves that Orthodoxy is truly the target, making aid and help that much more difficult for the SOC.


Violence against the monastery of Decani in Kosovo

The violence against the monestary of Decani and other monasteries in Kosovo continue by numerous members of local paramilitary factions.  The extremist Albanians operate freely in the territory and up to now launched four attacks by firing upon and launching rockets at the monastery of Decani.  It is painful to remember that this monastery is under the protection of UNESCO like a world-wide property.  The Secretary General of NATO Jaap de Hoop Scheffer contacted the superior of the monastery to ensure that they will do all that is possible to protect Orthodox sites in Kosovo and will soon open an inquiry into these serious attacks.  Bishop Theodosius was received by the Commissioner of the Police of the temporary UN administration, Richard Monk, in the company of General Sheremet Ahmeti, the police regional commander in Kosovo and the commander of KFOR visited the monastery and decided to launch an inquiry into these recent occurances.  The activities of these terrorist paramilitary groups are seen as a serious threat to the Orthodox monasteries in the entire region of Kosovo.  The Italian soldiers of KFOR have strengthened safety measures around the monastery. 

---

Violenze contro il monastero di Decani in Kosovo

Continuano le violenze contro il monastero di Decani ed altri monasteri nel Kosovo da parte di numerosi membri di una
fazione paramilitare locale. Gli estremisti albanesi operano liberamente nel territorio e finora hanno lanciato quattro
attacchi con lancio di cannonate e razzi contro il monastero di Decani. Vale la pena ricordare che questo monastero è
sottoposto alla tutela dell’UNESCO come patrimonio mondiale. Il segretario generale della NATO Jaap de Hoop
Scheffer ha avuto contatti con il superiore del monastero per assicurare che farà tutto il possibile per prot eggere i siti
ortodossi nel Kos ovo e che presto sarà aperta una inchiesta molto seria in seguito all’attacco.
Il vescovo Teodosio è stato ricevuto dal Commissario di Polizia dell’amministrazione provvisoria dell’ONU Ricard
Monk ed in compagnia del generale Sheremet Ahmeti, del coman dante regionale di polizia in Kosovo e del comandante
della KFOR hanno fatto visita al monastero ed hanno deciso di fare una seria inchiesta su questi episodi.
Le attività di questo gruppo terroristico paramilitare sono giudicate come una grave minaccia a ai monasteri ortodossi
di tutta la regione del Kosovo. I soldati italiani della KFOR hanno perciò rinforzato le misure di sicurezza intorno al
monastero.


From the La Voce Ortodossa newsletter published for the first third of 2007 (Gennaio / Febbraio / Marzo / Aprile 2007)
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