The cry of Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija - Bishop Athanasije Jevtic
Blessed art Thou, O Lord, the God of our Fathers, for righteous are all Thy works, and truthful are Thou in all Thy deeds; upright are Thy ways and Thy judgements are true and they bring salvation.
Judgements of truth and righteousness and punishment that leads to salvation hast Thou performed in all things which Thou hast brought upon us and upon our people and our land for our sins. In truth and righteousness Thou hast surrendered us into the hands of lawless enemies, the most hateful apostates and the ungodly among our own people and enslaved us through unjust foreign masters and a tyrant of this world most wicked of all in the earth.
For Thou were angered and we transgressed said one of Thy servants in the days of old, but it is more appropriate for us to say: we transgressed and that is why Thou were angered. And truly we have sinned, transgressed, and forsaken Thou and Thy covenant; we have sinned in everything and Thy commandments that lead to salvation we either ignored or did not manage to keep alive as Thou commanded so that we could live well upon the land that Thou our Lord and God has granted us.
And now O Lord we are not able to open our mouth; shame and reproach are we become for all men and the mankind upon the earth. For O Sovereign Master, we are become the least of all the nations and are humbled in our land and all the earth from the West to the East because of the wickedness and transgressions of our leaders and the despotism of the vainglorious "tyrants of this earth" and because of our own stumblings and our sins.
Together with our Patriarch and our father we are saying these words today in Kosovo and Metohija: "Day and night running away with our pauperised people from one place to another as a little boat tossed upon the high seas of a wide ocean. We try to speed up, waiting for the sunset, the day's end and the passing of a dark night with this wintery wretchedness that has befallen us. Because there is no one out there to protect us or deliver us from afflictions. So our suffering was increased threefold and we pleaded: How long, O Lord wilt Thou utterly forget us, how long wilt Thou arm thyself against Thine inheritance? Rise up, why sleepest Thou, O Lord, wherefore turnest Thou Thy face away? And again: arise O Lord, help us and redeem us for Thy name's sake. And so we are constantly adding one cry to another and yet help seems as far away as ever.
Because O Lord from on High, and Allseeing there is not a single Duke or leader that could be found among us, nor a genuine honest Serbian man with a sacrifice pure and unspoiled or an offering from a pure heart which has not become hardened. All of us strayed from Thy way, and distanced ourselves from Thee, and left- Thee, who are the Fountain of Life!- turning instead towards the new man-made wells whose water became polluted even before it dried up. So we now have only those murky wordly waters to drink from and they infect us with the poison of their scorpions and their serpents.
That is why Thou rightfully allowed this 'Godforsakenness' to descend upon us. This utterly deserved and never before experienced estrangement from Thee and from Thy People, and from ourself - in our own land and under our own skin.
Thy shrines and Holy places are desecrated and burned down all over our land; holy monastic communities are ruined and destroyed. The Venerable crosses and the icons of Thy Holy Saints and Martyrs are broken up and trampled on firstly by the feet of our own godless locals, then those of alien non-believers and other foreign invaders. Today as in times under the Turkish yoke, in this ancient Holy Land full of pious endowments of our Fathers "Christ alone spreads his hands awaiting the flock which is not there any more". And it is not there O Lord, simply because Thy flock was betrayed and sold out, abandoned to the wolves and delivered into the hands of monsters, intruders, and conquerors - sold out for next to nothing as Slavic slaves - then left at the mercy of Albanian oppressors and heedless foreigners with hardened hearts.
From the church in Pec, Home of the Saviour which is today besieged by janichars (Elite units of the Ottoman Turkish army known for their extreme cruelty. These units were made out of kidnapped Christian children forcefully converted to Islam and trained as the sultan's "pretorian guardsmen".) who want to burn it down and plunder it again to Metohija, whose entire Serbian population on both sides of the river Drim is now forced into exile while their houses are being burned down. From Nerodimlje ravaged and reduced to ashes and from the Binic Monastery burned down in Pomoravlje, to old Serbian Izmornik and Novo Brdo each more and more endangered every day; again turning to Zar mountain and burned down monastery of the Holy Trinity in Musutiste and the monastery of St. Mark in Korisa, as well as domestic Serbian houses destroyed and burned in Podkaljaja in Prizren, moving further to entirely demolished Zociste Monastery next to nemanjic's Hoca and the new concentration camp for the Serbs in Orahovac, then to Goles which is now completely levelled with the ground by Nato bombs and Lazar's Samodreza and Milutin's Pristina now depopulated by "the fire and the sword", back to Polablje and Bajgora. Over all these lands stretches out our new Cross at Kosovo - the same as six centuries ago when a large Cross was spread out over Kosovo. But in those days, physically overpowered but spiritually undefeated, our Fathers carved these words down on a post supporting Kosovo's Cross: "O Man, you that are now treading over the Serbian land, whoever you may be and whatever titles you may bear, when you come to this Field called Kosovo, you will see the scattered bones of the dead everywhere and along with them you will see me, standing upright in the middle of the field resembling the Cross and the flag. Somewhere here there once was a great ruler, one of earth's mighty wonders, Serbian Tsar called Lazar, a great master and the unshakeable pillar of piety, an ocean of the knowledge of God and the depth of wisdom, a fiery mind and the protector of strangers and refugees who always fed the hungry and gave alms to the poor, comforted the suffering and the sorrowful, and who, above everything else, wanted all that Christ demands."
And here we are, O All merciful Lord, six centuries later ruled by a false emperor and a false prophet from Gazimestan, (The author refers to Milosevic's manipulative speech delivered at 600th Anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo at Gazimestan which cemented his personality cult and his position as the key-player in the latest tragedy of Serbian people.) a perfidious betrayer who tried to convince us that we will not be betrayed - we who knew all too well that we were already betrayed and that the truth about this is only now coming to be revealed. With such a godless leader and a non-Serb we are now left "in our Land - but without the land, in Kosovo - but without Kosovo, as those who once had a hero like Milos (Serbian knight of noble descent who bravely sacrificed his life killing along the heavily guarded Turkish sultan during the Battle of Kosovo. For the Serbs he became the symbol of Christian bravery.) - but are now without heroes", in our homes - but without our Home". So now as people who always had honour and dignity we are being left without the honour or dignity. And all this because an inhuman and godless communist decided to trample on them and tarnish them.
Keeping in mind all this it is obvious that such a man could not protect and be successful in defending Kosovo. In the words of a Serbian poet: "an Agaren (Name comes from Sarah's Egyptian handmaid Hagar who bore Abraham a son called Ishmael.) Muslims claim to be descendants of Hagar and Ishmael. and apostate cannot defend Thy people, as an arsonist cannot save us from the fire and the hand of the Pharaoh will not take us out of bondage in Egypt; this false liberator leads us directly into new Babylonian captivity". This pyromaniac who burned down his house as well as our houses brought us straight into the hellish dead end where we constantly see unburied innocent victims around us, little children with their throats cut and no one to mourn them, our churches burned to the ground and desecrated, and the entire Serbian people ridiculed, stamped upon and humiliated.
His ten years long insanity and inhumanity is now ascribed to my people, and they have also sinned, but they are Thy People, O God, and they still have a conscience and the need to repent. Foreign tyrants and hypocrites similar to this one, slick but inveterate non-humans from the pseudo-Christian West who are more experienced in their cunning and much craftier in their hypocrisy, want our little tyrant to remain as he is so that they may continue doing with us what their "inhumanity" already does to people and small nations all over the world. They judge us by looking at their own image assuming that we must be guilty as they are, and they scoff at us together with their toadies. All this happens because these idol-worshipers of Esperia (Classical term for Apennine peninsula.) and the New Demonia cannot accept the fact that we still believe in God's Truth and God's Justice and keep the Heavenly Covenant of our Fathers, dedication and commitment to Kosovo of our Martyrs old and new.
It is therefore truly righteous and truthful, and our people in Kosovo today know and feel, that as the epic folk song says: "our dear God got angry with the Serbs because their leaders through many of their transgressions stamped upon God's Law and chose foolishness as their measure; cursed be the souls of the dukes who broke the kingdom into parts and betrayed their people".
For five centuries we suffered under foreign occupation, never fully liberated but also never completely enslaved and, more importantly, never estranged from God and our very self. We suffered and were invaded by every evil that came either from the East or from the West, but most terribly we were hit by the latest fifty years long occupation by people who are estranged from God, the godless nation of inhuman communists and neo-communists, who came here and overpowered us with the help of Western antiChrists and the unGodly and who are again today bringing this evil upon us. From these people who represent the West's gloomy radiance which is actually darkening the world we never received either freedom or human values. Instead we are receiving "the new world orders" and new enslavements that replace the previous ones like the latest tyranny and bombing from Easter to Easter and from Good Friday to Good Friday. The local tyrant is using the foreign tyrant's latest bombing of our innocent and enslaved people which lasted 3 months and they are both, separately and boastfully, announcing their victories. And who is then defeated O Lord and the Righteous Judge. We Thy innocent people, enslaved and held captive are defeated O Lord of Hosts and Righteous Judge of tyrants of this earth.
By the waters of Kosovo and Metohija we sit down and weep just as long time ago Thy Israel wept in Babylon. They do not give fresh water to drink and do not let us reap our fields full of wheat that is ripe. We are not allowed to bury those who have been killed and cannot sing our old songs about Kosovo. In tears we eat our dried up bread while they keep telling us about their abundant humanitarian help, which today no one can either receive or give in Kosovo with a clean conscience and from a pure heart. Along with the help offered we are being blackmailed and enticed to "sell our faith for a single dinner". In many places there's no one else to receive help except the few elderly couples thrown out of their flats and their houses, beaten up and abused, with scars, wounds and bruises all over their bodies and their souls while barely alive. And it's like that in Podujevo, Pristina, Stimlje and Prizren. "Three old ladies keep Kosovo's Cross up where before we had 300.000 Serbs here," cries one half-blind granny who is now supposedly protected by NATO tanks! Two thirds of the Serbian population from now "ethnically cleansed" Metohija and from most towns in Kosovo, "from Cecan, my brother, to Zvecan", are either in exile or deported, their number reduced tenfold just the same as the number of "poor people"(Derogatory name Turks used for Christians.) in the times of the Turkish occupation and the number of "Vlachs"(The name ustashas (Croat Nazis) used to ridicule orthodox Serbs.) during the WW2 in the Ustashi/Nazi controlled 'independent' state of Croatia. Various humanitarians and visitors from the West and their two-eyed but obviously blind diplomats keep asking: "And how many of you are left"? Our suffering Orthodox Bishop of Kosovo and Metohija, "a poor man with no one to help him out there", answers somewhat bitterly and through tears: "There are very few of us, but we are countless".
The most enormous and vastly numerous power on Earth came to Kosovo proclaiming to the world: "We want to stop the violence and the exodus of the people". However, now, under their rule and on a scale never before witnessed on this planet inhuman evils, beastly violence, killings and cleansings are being committed against us. With their bombs and rockets they have destroyed out wheat and our vineyards so that we cannot bake our prosphora's (Bread used in the Holy Liturgy.) and bring the vine for the Holy Liturgy. All the fields of Kosovo and Metohija are ravaged by bombs, our gardens poisoned, and our souls embittered and humbled by this "inhumanitarian" violation. Now under these new, so-called "peacemakers" evil and violence committed against an entire people are infinitely and unimaginably multiplied, yet we still cannot see any limit to our suffering because this "power" does not want to put an end to the criminal behaviour of the Albanians. And how could they do this when the Albanians are merely their allies and obedient servants aiding the "powerful" in their neo-colonialist global ambitions and their gradual conquest of this world through illicit drug trafficking, arms trading, money laundering, white slavery and other criminal activities which they appropriately call demo(no)cracy.
Wherever these non-humans from the West come they only bring wars and suffering. They say that they came to bring peace and human rights to all, but instead they brought even bigger injustice and more suffering, never resolving any evil, only increasing and extending it. You see them outwardly full of flattery but violent, fine sounding but incredibly brutal. They resemble their tools and their weapons of destruction, inhuman as the godlessness of their tyranny. They say that they are the measure of this world, the "judges" of everything in it, but they neither have the measure of Justice nor, in fact, do they want to know the Truth. Their lips speak glowingly about the "new order" of things in the world, but their treachery is as old and worn out as their sins and their inhumanity. They grew old and worn out in their hearts, being eaten from the inside by fear of not appearing successful (which NATO calls its credibility) and thus losing confidence that they still are the leaders who should bring happiness to mankind. Their "new order" is only old-new enslavement by various passions and greed contained in their interests, in their devilish lust for power through which they aim to conquer the world and reshape it after their own image. Whoever does not comply is labelled as the worst, as the "rogue state", or as "uncooperative" and non-flexible with regard to their plans and interests and as such is denied the right to exist. Their mouths are full of words about freedom, while they remain slaves to greed, the basest of passions and unconcealed idol-worship of false deities. Wherever they come and pass through "their leave traces that reek of their inhumanity". They are constantly yelling: "Peace, peace! - But there is no peace in their hearts or their consciences. Wherever they come they bring turmoil in their train and it appears their only instrument of "peace" are, in fact, bombs and tanks, NATO occupation and coercion, using deadly weapons of war. There is a constant war raging in their souls and that is why they spread wars wherever they appear. Or, without formal declaration of war itself lead "air campaigns," a term they euphemistically use to conceal the annihilation of a country and its inhabitants with radioactive bombs and fiendish rockets. All this they like to call Europe and Western "civilization" and we call it NATOisation of the final remnants of Europe, and the dimming twilight of a civilization that was once called Christian. Since the last words of that civilization is mamon, their weapons and their stick can have only one end. Truly they became "the hammer of this earth" as once were Egypt and Babylon, Rome and Istanbul and, as in our times are Berlin and Brussels, New York and Washington. But there is no authentic philanthropic civilization nor any genuine humanistic culture to be found there. Only polished hypocrisy and pitted, worm-eaten wood decaying beneath the artificially smooth surface while cankerous pus oozes its poison below the cosmetically beautified skin. They are saying that they don't want communism... while they behave as communists: tyrannically enslaving single human beings and entire nations by trampling on human hearts and human conscience using the same hypocritical "big talk" concerning "human rights, freedom and egalitarianism" - liberte, fraternite, egalite - ou la mort. Yet their reality remains reduced to the mathematical equation of death, like a steam roller used to flatten and destroy everything that happens to differ from its mirror image; since the plan is "to have everybody else look like us" bearing the same image and the same likeness of the apocalyptic Beast - i.e., not the image of Christ but of Antichrist and not the likeness of God and God-man but of man-god and pseudo-god. Through centuries we are somehow not allowed to free ourselves and sort the affairs in our own house. They are constantly dictating us what to do and forcing their half-baked solutions that never work nor will survive because they result only from violence and injustice, never the work of human virtue but of devilish craftiness - the strange fruits of perfidious godlessness and inhumanity. Stubbornly and violently they will continue doing this so that they can meddle into our affairs and capitalize on our pain and our suffering. They will keep telling us, without any sense of shame or remorse, that we're incapable of sorting out the things in our own house and our front garden. As if they have completely forgotten all that they did to us in wars before, which they always started and then imposed on us, they like to say how they "liberated" us - only to make us slaves again, twice bigger than before. So that finally we may never become what we once were and what we could, and should, become again; but become instead only what they want of us - the image and likeness of their own self-idolatry, just as the Prophets of our Lord have warned us the days of old.
Arise O Lord my God, judge the men and the peoples according to Thy eternal Righteousness and Truth. Let Thy hand be lifted high, forget not Thy paupers to the end.
O Lord set a lawgiver over us and over them, let the heathen know that they are nothing else but men. They that cast us out have now encircled us and enslaved us, they have set their eyes to blot us out and bury us into the earth wiping out the last traces; to destroy Thy Shrines that bother them for no better reason than because they are different from theirs. They are angry since we know and remember, "a martyred land needs Martyrs".
O God our Saviour the hope of all ends of the earth and of those who are far off upon the sea, we know from bitter experience in our own lives and the historical path and persistent struggles of our Fathers that " the bigger the catastrophe, the stronger and more firm becomes our hope of salvation". Since that is the mystery of the Cross of Thy Christ and the mystery of our crucifixion and our resurrection on our journey through this Valley of tears called the Earth towards Thy Kingdom.
Having all this in mind, O Merciful Lord who love all men and who are the Saviour of our souls, from a crushed body, suffering soul, humbled spirit and a stammering tongue we pray to Thee and beseech Thee: accept us again. Let the sacrifice of our obliteration be well pleasing before Thee and let us accept what is happening to us today according to Thy holy Will. For those who put their trust in Thee will not be ashamed. And now we follow Thee from the bottom of our heart and fear Thee and seek Thy face, O please do not be ashamed because of us in these terrifying days of our temptation. Do not deliver us till the end, for Thy Name sake do not break off Thy covenant with us and do not take Thy mercy from us, because of the prayers of our Fathers who pleased Thee, and because of the prayers of Saint Sava, Lazar the Martyr and the innocent children who are still being killed and deported and because of abandoned little orphans, in pain and in tears. Our soul trembles and our heart is all mixed up right within us, our bones are humbled from Thy righteous anger and the multitude of our transgressions and the cunning of our treacherous leaders, and also from the violence of tyrants of this world and oppression of our neighbours. Instead of Nemanjici and Lazarevici we became Brankovici and not Milosi, from Eagles we turned ourselves into sparrows. So they are digging out the foundations of Thy shrines and the roots of our being and our existence. They want to destroy Decani and Gracanica, take down the Cross from the Patriarchate in Pec and Islamicize the church of Bogorodica Ljeviska in Prizren. "They have put out the pupils of our eyes, and seem to want to also grab our white walking cane from us. "The Land that we received from Heaven someone has promised to them", sold us out and betrayed.
Thou, our Only Lord, please do not betray us. Thou, who are the Only True God, will not deliver us till the end to our bitter enemies and oppressors and will call us again and revive us. "Even if my skin falls apart and my bones decompose, still I will stand firm before Thee and glorify Thee and confess Thy Holy Name", we are saying together with the long-suffering Job. Once we were the People of Thy flock and Thine we want to remain, but they make us into sheep for slaughter, and leave us to be hunted by the beasts and turned into food for worms. That is why we cry to Thee together with the thief from the right side of the cross: "Remember us O Lord in Thy Kingdom".
Lord who are Good and Almighty, look at thy paupers, tyrannized and trampled on by everyone who came over to conquer these lands. Remember that we are no more than dust of the earth with our souls barely alive and our bowels in our hands. But even in front of the earthly dust Thou stopped in the beginning, brought us from non-existence into being, and resurrected us. Because Thou are the Resurrection and Life and Thy mercies are boundless and in front of Thee all my sins are as dust and ashes which are carried away and destroyed by the breathing of Thy Spirit, washed and cleansed by the Cross of Thy Son so that we again become whiter than snow and more radiant than the sun in front of Thee.
In all this we did not forget Thee and that is why Thou wilt not forget the crushed grapes of Thy Vineyard. If we forgot the Name of our God and reached out towards false and foreign gods, bring us back and let the light of Thy countenance shine upon us cleansing us of our sins and our transgressions, resurrect us from all "our graves". Since Thou are the God who went into Hades, and broke the chains of the enslaved, resurrected the race of Adam and granted us the Kingdom of Heaven.
If I forget thee O Kosovo my Jerusalem let my right hand be forgotten. Let my tongue cleave to my throat if I forget thee my Metohija, if I do not have thee as the opening of my song, my psalmody to my God and my Saviour.
Bishop Athanasije Jevtic