On August 6/19, the day of the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, the whole parish clergy of the diocese of Raska-Prizren, the Hegumens and Hegumenas and all the monks and nuns, with their Bishop Teodosije, sent an appeal for Kosovo and Metohija. In it, they support the message of the Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church adopted this year at the May assembly in Belgrade. And they call on their political representatives to defend the Serbian people and its centuries-old holy places. The Hegumens and Hegumenas of 20 monasteries, with a total of 120 monks and nuns, 70 priests and parish clerics have signed the following message:
“With pastoral responsibility, we members of the clergy and of the monastic order in the diocese of Raska-Prizren, led by our archpastor Bishop Teodosije, are deeply aware of the difficult times and situation in which we live. Guided by the clear and unequivocal decisions of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church made in May 2018, we support the following:
– Kosovo and Metohija, with 1,500 monasteries, endowments, and Orthodox Serbian monuments, is an inalienable part of Serbia. The preservation of this part of our land is not a question of national ideology or mythology. Moreover, Kosovo and Metohija not only represents a territory, but it is also the core of our ecclesial and national being, what has preserved us for centuries as a people of God and the living Church of Christ in this land.
– The preservation of Kosovo and Metohija as an integral part of Serbia, according to all international standards and in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia and UN Resolution 1244, does not mean confrontation with the world, but rather the assertion of the idea that without fundamental rights and freedom of the people, of their identity, their spirituality and their culture, a stable and lasting decision cannot be found.
– In case of a partition, of the exchange of territories, or of a “line of demarcation between Serbs and Albanians” on the sovereign territory of Serbia, the majority of our people in Kosovo and Metohija would automatically be left to the mercy of those who so far have not shown any willingness to respect our rights. In such an unfortunate development of events, the great danger would exist that we be exposed to a pogrom similar to that of March 2004. Because of the pressure and muffled terror, we may even be forced to exodus.
Taking all this into account, we unanimously call upon the highest representatives of the Republic of Serbia and the international representatives, to make it possible for our clergy, our monks and nuns and our faithful, the survival and peaceful life in Kosovo and Metohija, to preserve our holy places and, in so doing, to ensure the centuries-long continuity of our Church in this land. This appeal is not an interference in politics, it is above all the cry of those who live in Kosovo and Metohija, and who, before God and in their conscience, are responsible for the faithful with whom they constitute the living Church. Deeply devoted in Christ to our archpastor Bishop Teodosije of Raska-Prizren, as well as to the other hierarchs of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the undersigned have agreed to the foregoing.
On the day of the Transfiguration, August 2018, 6/19″
[followed by their names and signatures]