Statement by DECR Communication Service on the desecration of an Orthodox church at the Kosovo village of Samodreza8. August 2011 - 14:51
The church of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist at the Kosovo village of Samodreza was built at a place where, according to tradition, the warriors of the Holy Prince Lazar took communion before the Battle of Kosovo and where participants in that historic battle were buried. The church was held in reverence by the Orthodox people in Kosovo.
The forced exodus of Serbs during the Yugoslavian crisis has led to the desolation of the holy shrine. In 1998, local people hostile to the Orthodox faith broke the roof of the church and in the following year the church was ravaged and set on fire from within. After the last group of Serbs left Samodreza in 1999, the concrete fence surrounding the church was destroyed and the church was filled with rubbish and excrement. The church building was considerably damaged in the course of anti-Serbian pogroms in March 2004.
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of the Romanian Orthodox Church again consecrated the orthodox church in Bucharest, in the municipality of Colentina, devoted to St. Dimitry the Great Martyr. This event happened after the restoration of the church, both inside and outside, which had lasted for 12 years. Then Patriarch along with priests and deacons served the Holy Liturgy in the presence of thousands of believers.
The Russian Orthodox Church is preparing for a reform of its liturgical language, and a draft document on the role of Church Slavonic in modern church life has been circulated among dioceses and is available for discussion on the internet.
"Church Slavonic is a very important means to keep unity and traditions inside the Church. But on the other hand, understanding of liturgical texts written in Church Slavonic may be simplified," a senior Church official, Archimandrite Kirill, said on Monday.
His Holiness Patriarch Kyrril of Moscow and All Russia came on July 26, 2011 in an official visit to Ukraine. On Tuesday afternoon the Head of the Russian Orthodox Church met with the President of Ukraine Mr. V. F. Yanukovich in the presidential summer residence in Crimea. In the evening His Holiness arrive in Kiev.
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill urged European religious leaders to make collective efforts to pursue the revival of Christianity within the continent.
"The Russian Orthodox Church proposes that European Christian communities unite to become partners of the states and European civil community in pursuing the revival of tangible connection between the human rights concept and the pan-European spiritual heritage," the Patriarch said at the Moscow meeting of the European Council of Religious Leaders.
According to him, only economic and political ties in Europe cannot be "a sustainable basis for the well-being of European community" and existing social values of human rights and rule of law and democracy may remain just "the forms which are unlikely to benefit in the conditions of moral relativism and sometimes may even cause harm."