Moscow Patriarchate representative in Brussels wishes courage, patience to Kosovan Serbs

Moscow, February 18, Interfax - Bishop of Vienna and Austria Hilarion, who represents the Russian Church at European international organizations, has said he hopes the Orthodox residents of Kosovo "to face continuing sufferings with courage and patience."

"I would like to hope that those priceless monuments of ancient Christian architecture that are still standing on the land of Kosovo will survive and be preserved for future generations," he told Interfax-Religion on Monday.

"The destruction of an over-1000-year Christian civilization is happening in Kosovo right before our eyes with support of the United States and their allies," he said.

"Old churches, priceless monuments of Christian culture, are vanishing from the surface of the globe. Tens of thousands of Serbs have left their homeland, which now seems to have finally got into the hands of new masters. And for them monuments of the Christian civilization are just a nuisance reminding of the past," the bishop said.

The declaration of the independence of Kosovo "is another element in the chain of global geopolitical changes which started in the 1990s with the collapse of the Soviet Union and subsequently of socialist Yugoslavia," he said.