St. George Orthodox Church Burglarized and Vandalized in Occupied Kosovo

by Sparta on March 13, 2012

in crime, Kosovo, Orthodox Christianity, Serbia, Stella (Stavroula) Jatras

Храм Св. Горгија Станишор/Church of St. George in Stanišor

Tanjug: Orthodox church in Kosovo desecrated

GNJILANE — Serbian Orthodox Church of St. George in the village of Stanišor was burgled Friday night and money was stolen from the register, Kosovo police have confirmed.

Kosovo police regional spokesman Ismet Hasani told Tanjug that the police had inspected the scene and determined that a burglary took place and that the crime was not ethnically motivated.

[What a relief to hear...‘the desecration...not ethnically motivated’! Really?]

“The front door was broken and less than a hundred dinars was taken from the church register, because there was no more money there. The crime is not ethnically motivated, and we were informed about the desecration by the priests early this morning,” said Hasani.

The police spokesman said the church was also targeted by burglars a year ago but that the perpetrator was identified and arrested.

Priest Velja Stojković said the burglars broke the padlock on the door, the glass on an icon, a cross and the front door.

[Evidently the perpetrators were motivated not only by theft, but also by hatred of Orthodox Christianity.]

The St. George’s Church was built over 200 years ago and has been the target of vandals and burglars several times since the arrival of international forces.

This is the second case of desecration of Serbian Orthodox churches in Kosovsko Pomoravlje in the last month.

The Church of St. Nicholas in Kosovska Kamenica was desecrated and robbed in February.

Serbian-language version here.

Fr. Nektarios Serfes at Cernica
From: Father Nektarios Serfes
Sent: Monday, March 05, 2012 3:25 PM
Subject: RE: Tanjug / B92: Orthodox church in Kosovo desecrated

May our Gracious God always bless you!

As president of the Decani Monastery Relief Fund this greatly depresses me to learn of this incident that a Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo was desecrated of St. George and that other Serbian Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas was also desecrated.

I myself have returned from my sixth trip to the region of Kosovo/Metohija and I well noticed that there is no more protection of the peace keeping forces in the region nor anyone from the UN–Kosovo has been abandoned and forgotten! What did please me however was the Italian troops are guarding the Decani Monastery and one prays earnestly that this protection continues onward.

I had seen one police man standing near a Serbian Orthodox Church in the region however I am hearing reports that constant strangers are coming around the Church thus putting the local priest, his family, and parish members in constant fear… -Kosovo has been abandoned and forgotten. Just one police man protecting a church. This however is not the situation throughout Kosovo!

Fear is remaining Serbian Orthodox Church’s will be desecrated or damaged since this is the second incident in the region, and the appeal is that those responsible should cease from these acts of our beloved Orthodox Church’s since they are sacred and consecrated places of prayer.

The more we at the hour remain silent about what is happening in regards to the two desecrated Serbian Orthodox Church’s in Kosovo/Metohija then we fear or should be greatly concerned that this does not continue onward.

I can also report to you from my recent pilgrimage to the region that a great deal of Serbians continue to struggle greatly especially so many are still in the need for food and wood to keep their homes warm, as well as that homes be protected. With the current withdrawal of peace keeping troops one wonders what will happen next? Medical attention is also a great concern in the region and since limited funds are available and the current crisis the situation in the region is deplorable for Serbs!

Appeal with me and cry out to the media that these acts of desecrations and destruction of Serbian Orthodox Churches in Kosovo/Metohija must end now and that further talks be implanted  as well as protection of not only the churches but also the monasteries and the homes of the Serbs.

I visited a family in great need for assistance of food and fire wood and donations where offered, as we left their home I witnessed bullet holes in near their door. The Serbs are not living such a free care life in the region at this hour. Fear is at the door of all Serbs!

Therefore I tell you the Decani Monastery Relief Fund will continue onward in seeking further humanitarian assistance and ask you to support or fund. Send me an email: father@serfes.org for more information how you can help. You can also visit The Decani blog: thedecanifund.org

Pray for Kosovo!
Pray that good loving souls like yourself will help our Decani Fund.
Peace begins with love and understanding!
Peace to your soul!
God love and bless you!

Humbly in Christ our Lord,

+ Very Reverend Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
President of The Decani Monastery Relief Fund
Boise, Idaho
Who prays for you and with you!
Cell phone: 208-860-2479

I have run to the fragrance of your myrrh,
O Christ God, for I have been wounded by your love;
do not part from me, O heavenly Bridegroom.

“Wounded by Love,” The Life and The Wisdom of Elder Porphyrios

See us at facebook.com/orthodoxchurchboise

From: Father Nektarios Serfes
Sent: Friday, February 24, 2012 4:16 PM
Subject: The forgotten Kosovo…

Beloved in Christ our Lord,

Humbly I greet you with the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I pray you are well. I also pray you have a spiritually rewarding holy and Great Lent! Forgive Me!

I am sending you a report of my recent pilgrimage to Kosovo/Metohija and have returned safe thanks to your prayers. Our Executive Assistant Basil Jeremy Dannebohm got ill after arriving at the Decani Monastery and returned home, please continue to offer prayers for him.

In the meantime Seminarian Ivan Vuksaonvic (graduate of Hellenic College/Holy Cross Theological Seminary) also came with me to assist me during this pilgrimage of two and half weeks. Ivan was most helpful to me and travelled with me throughout the region of Kosovo, and also to Skopje, and to Belgrade.

The weather, especially during the second week of this pilgrimage, was most severe up to 15 feet of snow and temperatures as low as 30 degrees. Throughout Europe 500 people perished due to the severe weather. The weather conditions in the region were most severe, like nothing I have seen in my life time.

As we travelled throughout Kosovo we visited many families and we felt that Kosovo is still forgotten especially among the Serbian Orthodox Christians especially those who continue to live in deplorable conditions. When entering their homes we all stood around their wood stoves trying to keep warm and offering our Christian love and assistance for our Decani Fund. Many of these families were in tears that we arrived and cared about their conditions. It was not just the offering of assistance but our presence that gave strength to these families. I must repeat many of these families wept with deep thanks for our arrival and for our assistance on behalf of the Decani Fund.

During our travels in Kosovo it was impossible to just stop and visit because the area remains tense and if one got out of the vehicle our life would have had been in danger. This constantly was the situation but we travelled onward to visit desperate families who needed our assistance. On some occasions, while visiting these families, the power would go out and we had to wait for a few hours for it to return. One could only thank God that these families at least had wood stoves, if they didn’t they would of froze to death.

We made a visit to Dobri Vladyka Teodosije in Gracanica and he was overjoyed to greet us and was most helpful to us. During this time the Good Bishop offered to both myself and to Basil Gramata’s in appreciation for the assistance of our fund to his diocese. The bishop also indicated he will offer rewards to all the members of the fund.

A pilgrimage was also made to the Seminary in Prizren in which I presented a talk to the seminarian students. The students were pleased with our visit, and the next day I returned to serve the Holy Divine Liturgy in which again brought the students spiritual comfort. Hieromonk Andrej and Bishop Teodosije have done a great deal of work in restoring the Seminary which was earlier damaged with the assistance from the Decani Fund. It was also reported to us during our stay that the Patriarchate of Russia has also offered a donation to help rebuild the seminary. The rebuilding is still going to be a great expense and the Decani Fund wants to continue to offer further assistance.

I was also able to give an interview on a local TV station in Northern Kosovo which was an Orthodox Christian station. This interview can be viewed on our Decani Blog: thedecanifund.

Both Ivan and I made a visit to Skopje to appeal for the release of Archbishop Jovan who was in prison. We met with representatives of the Embassy of the United States of America in Skopje and still waiting to hear if and when the Archbishop will be released. The US representatives express an interest to us that the Archbishop should be released. Upon arriving in Belgrade I met with His All Holiness, Patriarch Irenije at which time I gave him a report about our Decani fund and the situation of Archbishop Jovan. I was blessed to have served Liturgy with the Patriarch.

The forgotten Kosovo among Orthodox Christians in the region due to the fact that humanitarian organizations have not been able to offer assistance as in the past. We simply cannot forget the much suffering and struggling Orthodox Christians in the region! Three humanitarian organizations are only offering assistance: The IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities), The Decani Monastery Relief Fund, and The Friends of Decani Monastery (from Italy). These organizations have been helpful but then again they can only do so much to help. We must promote further assistance to these funds.

It was as well reported to me as president of the Decani Fund that the monastery itself has offered assistance to many individuals throughout the region of Kosovo/Metohija but that they have limited resources. The monastery itself has to restore the living quarters due to the fact that the these living quarters need restoration, and so a new living quarters is being built, and the old quarters have to be rebuilt. I am now appealing that we assist in this restoration project and would like to let this be a part of donations towards this much needed restoration.

Everything we do for our fund gives hope to those who truly need our humanitarian assistance now in Kosovo/Metohija. Please beloved in Christ our Lord that Orthodox Christians in Kosovo have been forgotten, but with you love and assistance to our fund we can tell them we care about you, and want to help you with your great struggles and sufferings at this hour. Let us forget about the politics of the region it gives me a headache, we have a humanitarian crisis, and wait for you to please open up your heart to help our fund.

I also want to offer my humble thanks for your prayers because it was suggested by the monks at the Decani Monastery that we leave the region early due to the heavy snow conditions, it took us 12 hours to leave from Kosovo to Belgrade which normally takes six hours. God took care of us!

Please send your loving donations to the following address:

Decani Monastery Relief Fund
C/O Very Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
2618 West Bannock Street
Boise, Idaho 83702
Cell phone: 208-860-2479

Thank you!
God love and bless your good heart!
Peace to your soul!
God love and bless you!
Humbly in Christ our Lord,

+ Very Reverend Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
President of The Decani Monastery Relief Fund Inc.
Who prays for you and with you!


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