Fourth Anniversary of the March Pogrom Against the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija – March 17, 2004-2008

The fourth anniversary of the destruction of tens of churches and monasteries in Kosovo and Metohija, the expuslsion of tens of thousands of Serbs and the killing of nineteen Serb civilians on behalf of the Albanian terrorists will be marked on Monday, March 17, 2008. That night, the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija lived through their own "Kristallnacht'' in the presence of thousands of international troops and the UN civil mission. Frescoes and churches which had been resisiting various conquerors for ages were destroyed in one day.

Here is the full version of the Statement issued by the Holy Synod on the pogrom against the Serbs (March 17, 2004), which is to serve as a reminder of these tragic events:

Kosovo and Metohija have been populated by Serbs over several thousands of years. At that time and all up until the great migrations of the Serbian people, it was populated almost exclusively by Serbs. Everybody knows - provided he wants to know - that this is where the cradle of the Serbian state and of the Serbian culture were, and that the first and main seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church was and continues to be here, in the Patriarchate of Pec. As for statehood, according to applicable international law, Kosovo and Metohija are an unalienable part of the Serbian territory. The Bucharest Agreement dating back to August 10, 1913, still in force today, as well as tens of resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council bear witness to this. So does the Paris Agreement from 1995 as well as a series of legal acts brought by the European Union, Russia, the U.S.A., Great Britain, Germany, France...

Everybody knows this, except for one who doesn't, - or rather doesn't want to know: A politician named Martii Ahtisaari. Without a single word of justification, may it even be fake, he proposes that, contrary to all norms of international conduct, Kosovo and Metohija be seized from Serbia. He is actually proposing that legal violence be inflicted upon Serbia, an internationally recognized sovereign state. He doesn't recognize the force of law, but the law of force. What unequalled achievements of democracy, let alone of justice!

Despite of this, the Serbian Orthodox Chuch has always clearly and loudly been stressing that it was justice that was holding the states and the cities, and that what anything taken by force was cursed. Would Mr. Ahtisaari apply "his'' brilliant plan for the solution of the crisis to his own country? The Serbian Orthodox Church is not at all contrary to Mr. Ahtisaari's making to whoever he wishes a present of something that belongs to him, but it is also pointing out that no one has ever authorized him - nor could anyone have ever done so, to give Kosovo and Metohija as a present to anybody. According to the legal order which is in force all over the globe, the status of Kosovo and Metohija is well defined: It is an integral part of Serbia. This status can be changed only with Serbia's consent and in case the Serbian constitutional order were changed. It is more that certain that Mr. Ahtissari has neither the competence nor the responsibility for such a role.

The Holy Synod of Bishops is appealing to the responsible individuals leading the international community to prevent Mr. Ahtisaari from carrying out his dangerous intention to take away by force, on behalf of somebody, from Serbia, one of the more ancient European states, the most precious part of its territory. A peaceful future is not built on the law of the stronger, on the dictate of bare violence, but on the respect of the principle that all have the same dignity and equal opportunities. However, violence doesn't pray to God, and God has no love for violence. God is eternal, while every violence is ephemeral.

The Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church

For more information, and as a reminder, visit following link on the suffering of the Serian people in Kosovo and Metohija and the March Pogrom: http://www.spc.yu/Vesti-2004/pogrom.html