To the God-protected Western American Diocese, Serbian Orthodox Church, My dear Brothers and Sisters, our Children in the Lord,
On November 3rd, a 5.4 magnitude earthquake struck at 1:56 a.m. in central Serbia, killing two and leaving more than 100 injured as well as thousands of residents in the city of Kraljevo without homes. Many buildings were completely destroyed while several thousands were critically damaged.
International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is working with Philanthropy, the charitable fund of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and local organizations to assess the needs following a moderate 5.3 earthquake that struck central Serbia on November 3 claiming at least two lives and injuring more than fifty people.
The temblor was centered near the city of Kraljevo where it destroyed or damaged buildings and left parts of the city without utility services, according to Interior Ministry of Serbia. The area is 30 miles from institutions where IOCC is implementing projects to assist disabled children and adults. There have been no reports of damage to the facilities, although the residents were shaken by the tremor.
His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch visited the Diocese of Zica, and in Kraljevo, along with Bishop Hrizostom of Zica, the church of Holy Trinity, damaged in a recent earthquake. His Holiness Serbian Patriarch in an evangelic spirit promised the threatened people the help of the Church and the believers.
Patriarch was welcomed in front of the church of St. Trinity, built in 1824, by bishops Hrizostom of Zica and fr. Jovan Djerem, head of the church. During the visit to Diocese of Zica and Kraljevo, His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Backa walked along the city streets, met with Mayor Ljubisa Simovic, visited a hospital, and at the end of the visit he was in the monastery of Zica, because that church from XIII century was also damages in the recent earthquake.
Serbs who visited the cemetery in Dečani, near Medieval famous Serbian monastery in Kosovo and Metochia, to mark the All Souls' Day on Saturday found that the Orthodox graves have been desecrated. This is according to official of the Decani municipal assembly Snežana Paunović. "The previous visit to the Orthodox cemetery was organized on August 28, 2010.
Hans-Josef Becker, archbishop of Paderborn, handed over the cross at the Serbian embassy in Berlin, an embassy spokeswoman said.
The treasure is a gilded cross with a base so it can stand upright on a table and a hollow space for a religious relic.
With the blessing of His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, His Grace Vicar Bishop Atanasije of Hvosno attended today a celebration in the Belgrade City Hall where the former Ambassador of Japan in Serbian Mr. Tadashi Nagai presented with Belgrade's most prestigious award - the title of honorary citizen.