Public Announcement by the Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church Following Consultations Held at the Serbian Patriarchate

The session was convoked in view of the latest illegal selfdeclaration of independence by the so-called Albanian parliament in Pristina. Some great states which have enriched themselves with wordly powers have recognized this act by the parliament of Pristina and, as we have said before, they have cast shame on themselves as well as their historical path, minding only their bare interests.

Yet, our concern goes to our people, which is deeply and justifiedly embittered by this injustice and violence. We know from our ages long church experience that every violence ends up with the perpetrator's ruin, for, as the proverb says, every power is of time, and that of God is eternal.

Therefore, „be not afraid little flock"! „We stand upright"! We are no longer alone as we were in the times of the shameful and bloodly bomb attacks against us. We now have the support of great states such as brotherly Russia, friendly China and many other countires which do respect the norms of international law.

Uncountable times has the grace and the love of God for the Serbian people and all justice-loving people been confirmed. The latest events and the apostle Paul's words "God chastens those whom He loves'', reaffirm this. In this hardship God did show us His love, for by touching our hearts through this most recent suffering, he made the love of our people for Kosovo and Metohija and the Holy Kosovo oath flare.

It is especially touching to see this love in the eyes and on the faces of the young people, who are living this love and growing up into human matureness. These young people will, very quickly and together with us and with the help of all honorable individuals all over the world, bring about the return of the reign of justice Kosovo and Metohija and the restitution of what Serbia has been stripped of.

Most imortant of all, however, is the fact that we firmly believe that the our Lord Jesus Christ is with us, - may we only be with Him, too, for otherwise we won't be able to endure the humiliations, whipping, slapping and carrying the cross. We will resurrect and we will live in freedom and as free persons, for our God is alive and our soul will be alive, as well.

We thus wholeheartedly support His Rt Rev. Bishop of Ras and Prizren, Artemije, the church and the monastic clergy and the faithful Serbian people which endures on the path of Christ, remaining in their homes in Kosovo and Metohija, the pillar of our spiritual, cultural and national identity.

We pray to the Gracious Lord to grant us and the remaining non-albanian population additional strength to endure, to preserve peace and trust in a final victory which shall be slow but attainable.

We always have before us and in our hearts the invincible word of the true God: „ He who endures till the end, he shall find salvation".