Eparchial (Diocesan) News
More Than 20 Serbian Orthodox Churches Destroyed By Rampaging Groups Of Kosovo Albanians - The Pearls Of Medieval Art In Flames And Ashes20. March 2004 - 8:25
More than 20 Orthodox Christian churches have perished in flames in the last three days of pogrom orchestrated by Kosovo Albanian extremists against the remaining Kosovo Serbs and their holy sites. Most valuable works of art: holy icons, medieval books, frescoes from the 14th and 15th centuries perish in flames while civilized Europe is not able to stop the the rampage of extremists who slowly create a society in which soon there will not be a sign of the Cross and any living Serbs.
Below is a list of churches and church buildings regarding which the Diocese has received information that they were destroyed in the riots occurring between March 17 and March 19, 2004. In process is the intensive verification of all data, especially in the area of Prizren where there are indications that all Orthodox churches have been destroyed. In Urosevac, Athens News Agency advised this morning that members of Greek KFOR have abandoned protection of three church buildings. The only thing that they were able to confirm is that the church of the Holy King Uros in Urosevac has been burned. In any case, it can be officially said that at least 16 churches have been destroyed (according to UNMIK confirmation). It is entirely possible that the number exceeds 20 (on the basis of information arriving in the Diocese of Raska and Prizren). Together with the 112 churches already destroyed or heavily damaged since the beginning of the UNMIK "peace mission" in June 1999, over 130 Orthodox holy shrines in Kosovo and Metohija have been destroyed or demolished. Two churches in Lipljan apparently have not yet been destroyed even though initial reports indicated that they were under attack.
A senior NATO commander said today that Kosovo Albanian attacks on Serb villages this week were not far from turning into "ethnic cleansing".
Almost a thousand Serbs living in isolated villages among the majority Albanian communities in Kosovo have fled in the last three days as houses and churches were torched by Albanians despite a heavy presence of international peacekeepers.
Sts. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Prizren torched - Fate of eight Serbs, including two children, unknown - Fr. Dragan Kojic in Vitina wounded and requesting urgent assistance.
According to most recent reports, the seat of the Diocese in Prizren and the 19th century Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Great Martyr George have been set on fire, confirmed the monks of Holy Archangels Monastery. The fate of priest-monk Miron Kosac, who was in the Bishop's residence with German soldiers remains unknown. It is assumed he may have been evacuated to a German military base. Also in flames in the 14th century Church of Christ the Savior located on the hill above the old part of the city.