President Tomislav Nikolic: Orthodoxy in Kosovo and Metohija in ordeal
While delivering the toast to patriarchs and high dignitaries of Christian Churches, said that in Kosovo and Metohija the time was returned in the period before the Edict of Milan, which granted the freedom of faith to Christians, and that Orthodox Christianity survived days of an ordeal.
Nikolic, in his address to guests of the central celebration of the 17 centuries of the Edict of Milan, pointed out that with this document the system of values was established, which since its adoption until the end of the world applies to every Christian,and also to every man being regardless of religion, because there is nothing more sublime than accepting diversity, philosophy of tolerance, and understanding that the human communities can live in prosperity only if they accept and respect each other.
The Serbian president gave a toast to the world of the equal every man who, while being driven by messages of the Edict of Milan, will find peace within himself, peace around him and peace among people.
The President also said that this an opportunity for Serbia to be a home of conciliarity on the occasion of 17 centuries since the adoption of the Edict of Milan is a great honor, and the great jubilee was marked in accordance with general conditions in the country - modest and proud.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said in his toast that Christian and philanthropic policy of Constantine the Great should represent an example to all political leaders in order to reach a community that lives peacefully and fruitfully.
Expressing satisfaction for he will attend the celebration in Nis, Ecumenical Patriarch said that "Serbia is a country with great and deep Christian tradition which holds a prominent and respected place in the Orthodox world" and very often it was subjected to the temptations of the Orthodox faith and gave thousands of martyrs.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia in his toast said that a question of firm guarantees of the protection of historial heritage of the Serbian Orthodox Church and security of the Orthodox Serbs should be one of priority topics in political dialogue about the future of Kosovo and Metohija.
Serbian Patriarch Irinej warned in his toast that Kosovo was in the same condition in which Christians had been before the enactment of the Edict of MIlan and expressed a hope that the world would see and understand that Kosovo was the holy Serbian land - Serbian Jerusalem.
His Holiness expressed an expectation that with the help of Orthodox countries the identity of the Orthodox Church would be saved and its right to exist in Kosovo and Metohija, and thanked the envoy of Vatican since the Vatican did not recognize the independance of Kosovo and Metohija.