Bishop Teodosije’s strongest condemnation of PM Thaçi’s statement in which he called the church in Priština "a Milosevic monument".

Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raška-Prizren most strongly condemns and expresses its indignation in relation regarding the statement of Kosovo’s PM Hashim Thaçi who, according to the agency, called the unfinished Serbian church in the center of Priština“a horrible act” and “a Milošević’s monument”. The latest statement of the highest official of the Kosovo Government the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raška-Prizren sees as a continuation of the media campaign against our Church in this region, which began with the recent statement of Kosovo’s Minister for environment and spatial planning Mr. Dardan Gashi who announced a possibility of demolition of the church.

The statement of Mr. Thaçi deeply hurts religious feelings of the Serbian Orthodox people in Kosovo and Metohija, because it is exactly under the excuse of removal of “Milosevic’s churches” in this region that the Kosovo Albanian extremists destroyed 150 Orthodox Christian shrines, many of which date from the Middle ages. Therefore, such rhetoric cannot be interpreted otherwise but as an encouragement and a concession to those who want to build the future of Kosovo on the ruins of Serbian churches, homes and cemeteries. With such rhetoric of ethnic and religious intolerance Kosovo institutions are deepening inconfidence among the citizens in this region because while on one hand one can hear pro-European statements and calls for tolerance, on the other the radical rhetoric is still used.

The construction of the Christ the Savior church was not begun by Milošević, nor any politician, but by Serbian Patriarch Pavle of the blessed memory in 1990, as the then Bishop of Raška and Prizren. The construction of this church had to satisfy the need of the Serbian Orthodox population of Priština at that time which numbered 40.000 Serbs and in which only a smaller St. Nicholas cemetery church had existed (this church was burned by extremists in 2004 and has been only partially reconstructed). The church of Christ the Savior was built in accordance with all legal provisions of that time and the problem that Priština University and Kosovo Albanian politicians cannot tolerate a Serbian Orthodox church in the city center only demonstrates the amount of intolerance of the majority Albanian population in this city in which only 50 Serbian people remain today.

At the time when in the very vicinity of the Christ the Savior church a large Roman Catholic Cathedral was built and the construction of one of the largest mosques in the Balkans is about to begin, the media attacks by the leading Kosovo officials represent the worst form of intolerance towards the Serbian Orthodox Church with the goal to eradicate all traces and the identity which the Serbian people has been building in Kosovo and Metohija for centuries.

Bishop of Raška and Prizren

Prizren-Gračanica, May 2, 2014


reference: PM Thaci’s statement in today (in Albanian)