Information Service of
the Serbian Orthodox Church

Avgust 10, 2004



His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle sent a letter today to Svetozar Marovic, the president of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro; Dr. Zoran Sami, the speaker of the Serbia and Montenegro Parliament; Dr. Boris Tadic, the president of Serbia; Mr. Filip Vujanovic, the president of Montenegro, Dr. Vojislav Kostunica, the prime minister of the Serbian Government; and Milo Djukanovic, the prime minister of the Montenegrin Government, stating the following:

We have been informed that a new Anthem of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro is to be adopted in the near future, which combines the Anthem “Boze Pravde” (God Grant Us Justice) and the anthem of Montenegro recently adopted by the Montenegrin Parliament “Oj Svijetla Majska Zoro” (O Bright May Dawn).

We consequently feel that it is our duty and responsibility to draw your attention to the following: An Anthem is a symbol of what a People and a State are and should be, i.e. it should be a testimonial and expression of national and state being both in its content and melody.

How two songs completely different in melody and spirit can be conjoined and recomposed into one is something we leave to the experts to decide. What we find astounding is the fact that the second part of the proposed Anthem is essentially not a Montenegrin folk song but a composition by one of the darkest figures in the history of Montenegro, the Fascist and Nazi Sekula Drljevic. The folk song “O Bright May Dawn” is very different from the one Sekula Drljevic rearranged and published in 1937; and it is two verses from the latter that are to be included in the Anthem of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. Is it possible that Sekula Drljevic, a person who on July 12, 1941 became president of “Independent Montenegro” under the auspices of Mussolini and Hitler for but a single day; a person whom a popular rebellion deposed on July 13, 1941; a person who spend the whole of World War II with the Ustashe (Croatian Nazis) and Ante Pavelic in Zagreb; who in 1945 in Stara Gradiska and Jasenovac concentration camps took part with the Ustashe in a genocide against the Montenegrin population swept by the winds of war from their centuries-old homes, and played the most shameful role in the history of Montenegro, becoming the cause of an even more horrible massacre of tens of thousands of his compatriots in Slovenia... Is it truly possible for such a person to “write” the Anthem of modern Montenegro and the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro? Regardless of the content of the song, can there be a greater and more shameful humiliation for Serbia and Montenegro than this and such a humiliation? At the beginning of the third millennium, do Montenegro and Serbia deserve to have an Anthem including the neo-Nazi, pagan verses on the unfortunate Sekula Drljevic? The proposed Anthem is nothing but a Centaur by means of which someone seeks to mock both Montenegro and Serbia and the dignity of this people, and as such it should be withdrawn from procedure immediately.

I have spoken and saved my soul.


Sekula Drljevic (born in Ravni, Moraca in 1884 – died in Judenburg, Austria in 1945), a Montenegrin Ustashe (Nazi Fascist), was an Ustashe idealogue and war criminal. He founded the Montenegrin separatist movement. During World War II he was one of the closest collaborators of Croatian Ustashe leader Ante Pavelic. He spent the entire war in the so-called Independent State of Croatia (Nazi Croatia) and during that period was the editor of the Ustashe paper Granicar (Frontiersman).

At the so-called Petrovdan Assembly in 1941 in Cetinje in the role of official speaker he expressed thanks to the Italian Fascist policy which enabled the establishment of a “free”, “sovereign” and “independent” Montenegro, as stated in the declaration that was adopted.

Upon flight from Montenegro and under the patronage of the Ustashe in the so-called Independent State of Croatia, he worked on the reestablishment of “independent Montenegro”. With seven like-minded associates on July 20, 1944 in Zagreb he founded the so-called Montenegrin National Council, a sort of government of his own (in which his closest associate Savic Markovic-Stedimlija held the position of minister of foreign affairs).

He concerned himself with the ethnogenesis of the Montenegrins. He believed them to be the descendents of the Ilyrians and the Red Croats. He saw the political and state future of Montenegro in state unification with Croatia and Albania. He launched the initiative for the founding of the so-called Montenegrin Orthodox church. He successfully falsified historical facts for the use of Greater Croatian Ustashe ideology, and worked as a propagandist and pamphleteer toward that goal. He wrote pamphlets against the Serbian people and allied forces opposed to Hitler. He glorified Nazi ideology and Adolf Hitler. In Zagreb in 1944 he published the book Ko su Srbi (Who Are the Serbs) with the thesis that the Serbian people for centuries have been a disruptive factor in the Balkans. The poem “Crnogorsko kolo” (Montenegrin kolo), the current anthem of Montenegro, was published in 1937 in Zagreb in a book by another Montenegrin Ustashe, Savic Markovic-Stedimlija called Osnove crnogorskog nacionalizma (The Principles of Montenegrin Nationalism).

He deceived tens of thousands of citizens of Montenegro and led them to their death in April 1944, promising them free passage through the territory then occupied by the so-called Independent State of Croatia.

The State Commission for Establishing the Crimes of the Occupiers and Their Helpers proclaimed him a war criminal on February 24, 1945.

“O bright dawn of May”
(Original text of folk song)

O bright dawn of May
Our mother Montenegro
We are the sons of your rocks
And the guardians of your honor

Mt. Lovcen is our holy altar
To which we all are sworn
On Mt. Lovcen Njegos sleeps
The wisest of Serbian heads

Mt. Lovcen is adorned by Petrovices
And Kosovo by Obilices.
Mt. Lovcen is adorned by the grave of Njegos
And Kosovo by the grave of Milos.

Mt. Durmitor, do you regret
That Mt. Lovcen is celebrated in song?
No, it should, let it be sung
The honor belongs to Njegos.


His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle, together with His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral, His Grace Bishop Jovan of Sumadija, and Hieromonk Irinej (Dobrijevic), consultant to the Holy Assembly of Bishops, received a delegation of U.S. religious leaders in the Patriarch’s residence in Belgrade. The delegation was headed by Joseph Grieboski, the president and founder of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy in Washington, and also include the Rt. Rev. Mr. Folkner, an eminent Baptist minister in New York ; William Murray, the president of the International Coalition for Religious Freedom, Colonel Patterson and Damjan Miskovic-Krnjevic, an associate of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy and an editors of the magazine National Interest.

Welcoming the guests from the United States as people of good will, Patriarch Pavle briefly described the situation in Kosovo and Metohija from 1941 to today and the suffering of the Serbian Orthodox people and their Church. He placed special emphasis on the expulsion of Serbs and other non-Albanians from 1999 and the arrival of international forces into the southern Serbian province, as well as on the destruction of Orthodox churches and monasteries.

Mr. Grieboski, the head of the delegation of U.S. religious leaders, emphasized after hearing the Patriarch’s comments that attacks on the Orthodox Church and the Orthodox people in Kosovo and Metohija are attacks on the entire Christian world and that the hearts of Christians in the United States bleed for the suffering of the Serbs. He added that they came to Serbia as living witnesses before the people of the United States of the situation of Christians in Kosovo and Metohija. The Christian world must not remain blind to the destruction of such monumental medieval holy shrines as the church of Bogorodica Ljeviska (the Holy Virgin of Lyevish) in Prizren, the monastery of Devic and the church of the Most Holy Mother of God in Musutiste. The U.S. religious leaders emphasized the initiative of U.S. churches to undertake the rebuilding of the destroyed churches and monasteries in Kosovo and Metohija.

Evaluating this intention as blessed and the reflection of deep Christian conscience, Patriarch Pavle, together with Metropolitan Amfilohije and Bishop Jovan, assessed that in addition to renewing destroyed churches, it is especially important to help the Serbian people in realizing basic conditions for their return and stay in Kosovo and Metohija. These people, living in the cradle of their culture and spirituality, have so far been denied every possible right, beginning with the right to life itself. At the end of the conversation, Patriarch Pavle blessed the visit of the U.S. religious leaders to Kosovo and Metohija where their host during the next several days will be Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren.

During the course of their stay in Belgrade, the delegation of U.S. religious leaders was also received by Serbian President Boris Tadic, Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija President Nebojsa Covic, Serbia and Montenegro Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic, and Serbian Minister for Culture Dragan Kojadinovic.


By the decision of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Hellenic Church and with the blessing of Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens, Protopresbyter Nenad M. Mihajlovic, a Serb by birth, is among those carrying out a spiritual mission in the Olympic Village in Athens. Father Nenad warmly greets all Orthodox participants from Serbia and other Serb lands upon arrival and bids them welcome. Father Nenad will be available to all Orthodox Serb participants in the Olympics and other experts whom he will be providing with prayers and spiritual support throughout their stay in Olympic Athens.

Father Nenad Mihajlovic is a graduate student at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Athens.

The assistance and support of the Hellenic Orthodox Church since the beginning of the organization of the Olympic games have been of immeasurable importance for the spiritual strength of participants and organizers. The engagement of the Church in both organizational activities as well as in spiritual care for Olympics participants has been a valuable experience. Archbishop Christodoulos has already issued “ten Olympic commandments” for the occasion, i.e. a letter to all churches in the Greek capital consisting of ten points to guide priests during the Olympics. Churches must be neat and tidy, bells must ring regularly and appropriate brochures for tourists interested in the Orthodox heritage of Greece must be readily available to all, he emphasized.

All this gives us hope that the Olympic Committee of Serbia and Montenegro will follow the example not only of democratic Greece but most modern countries in the world, which include priests and spiritual leaders in their Olympic teams.


The Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija wishes to express its utmost concern and protest against the intensified pressure by Albanian extremists on the remaining Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, especially returnees to the province. As the latest incident in Lipljan, Siga and Brestovik demonstrate, as a direct result of the lack of resolve on the part of the UN and KFOR missions to confront them, the same extremist forces that organized and implemented the March pogrom continue their activities unhindered.

The workshop of Tomislav Janicijevic of Lipljan, located in the yard of his home, which was torched during March violence by ethnic Albanians in Kosovo and Metohija, was once again set on fire two nights ago by unknown perpetrators, UNMIK police confirmed.

The deputy mayor of Lipljan municipality Borivoje Vignjevic told Serbian language media that in recent days pressure on the slightly more than 1,000 Serbs remaining in Lipljan has been intensified with the goal of expelling them from their centuries-old homes.

This is confirmed by the destruction of the valuable workshop two nights ago, the smashed windows of individual houses that are being restored after the March violence, as well as by the fact that the part of Lipljan inhabited primarily by Serbs has been without electrical power for more than a week now, said Vignjevic.

The ERP KIM Info Service also has information that ethnic Albanians in the Metohija villages of Siga and Brestovik in the municipality of Pec have set fire to portable facilities that were supposed to house Serbs from these villages until their homes are rebuilt.

The German NGO THW provided the portable facilities. Serbs from Siga and Brestovik visited the villages on Saturday.

The torching of portable housing facilities for Serb returnees to Siga and Brestovik is largely the consequence of the highly obstructive attitude of the Albanian municipal administration in Pec, which for years has incited and encouraged extremism against the Serb population and prevented the return of displaced persons.

[Serbian Translation Services]

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