His Grace Bishop Irinej Rallies Orthodox Faithful on Behalf of Kosovo and Metohija
International Orthodox Christian
Charities (IOCC), which since 1993 has provided more than $75 million in
emergency relief and development programs to the former Yugoslavia, is currently hosting a special speaking tour featuring his
Grace Bishop Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Australia and New
Zealand. Bishop Irinej is rallying American Orthodox faithful on
behalf of families living in the isolated enclaves of Kosovo and Metohija. "I'm letting
people know the daily reality for children in Kosovo is to go to school under
armed escort," said the Serbian bishop who is originally from Ohio and
was once an IOCC employee. "We must be that ray of hope for those children even
in the simplest provision of school books and school kits," he said.
IOCC fundraising events featuring Bishop Irinej were held recently in Minneapolis, Seattle, and Los Angeles for IOCC's emergency and long term development projects, including Kosovo. More events featuring Bishop Irinej are scheduled for Steelton, Pennsylvania and Detroit, Michigan. IOCC announced recently that every gift made to Kosovo and metohija would be matched up to $100,000 through the generosity of Bishop Irinej and the faithful of his diocese and The John G. Rangos Sr. Family Charitable Foundation. All gifts ear marked for Kosovo and Metohija will go toward IOCC's broader goal of providing $500,000 in assistance to Kosovo and Metohija and for aid to some of the approximately 225,000 people who remain displaced from the region. IOCC aims to expand efforts to provide educational programs, sustainable agricultural training and other projects that provide employment and stimulate wider regional cooperation in Kosovo and Metohija.