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  • Writer's pictureSerbian Orthodox Diocese Kosovo-Metohija

Dečani Monastery: Urgent appeal for peace and restraint in Kosovo

With profound concern we urgently call upon all parties involved to ensure that the escalating issues in Northern Kosovo are addressed through peaceful means. We express our sincere sorrow for all those who have suffered injuries or any form of mistreatment in the recent weeks, acts which we unequivocally condemn.

We also stand against the unjust imprisonment of any individual on unfounded and spurious grounds, as well as against their alleged mistreatment in detention facilities. This has been a consistent message of our Bishop Teodosije and the Serbian Orthodox Church clergy in Kosovo in the last weeks. Оur Church stands firm with its people and calls on everyone to express their legitimate dissatisfaction against any injustice in a peaceful and dignified manner.

We wish to assert that robust police action and inflammatory rhetoric cannot be conduits to stability in Kosovo, nor can they help building trust among the populace. The continuation of the current situation, marked by violence, threatens the broader stability and safety of all citizens.

The rule of law is essential, but it should never be used as a pretext for opressing people through police actions. Such methods, anywhere in the world, inevitably yield counterproductive results and lead to further escalation. Our people deserve their full rights to live in peace and enjoy the protection of their collective rights and its cultural and religious heritage in Kosovo, in accordance with previously agreed upon internationally guaranteed agreements.

Not since the armed conflict in 1999, followed by massive K/Albanian riots in 2004, have interethnic relations in Kosovo been as fraught as they are today. This tension hinders the ongoing dialogue and cannot peovide a peaceful existence for all citizens, regardless of their ethnic origin.

We fervently pray for peace and urge those in a position, both local

and international political representatives, to act with ultimate restraint and reasonably. We hope for the restoration of peaceful life for all, recognizing that every individual deserves the fundamental right to live in dignity and safety.

Fr. Sava (Janjić) the abbot of Visoki Dečani Monastery with Dečani brotherhood

Dečani, 18 June 2023

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