25 March 2007

Russian patriarch regrets destruction of Orthodox churches in Kosovo

ITAR-TASS (Russian Federation) - January 5, 2007, Friday 10:04 PM EST


MOSCOW, January 6 - Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia spoke in defence of sacred religious places in Kosovo.


He expressed regret that Christian monuments are continuing to be destroyed in Kosovo and Metohija, while peacekeeping troops and the international community do nothing to stop that.


``It is especially sorrowful that churches and monasteries are being destroyed with the reticent agreement or silence of those who should raise their voice in defence of these holy places,'' the patriarch said.


He lauded Patriarch Pavle of Serbia, who ``lets all events and concerns related to the land of Kosovo go through his heart'' because the main shrines of the Serbian Orthodox Church are in Kosovo.


``The blood that was spilled within the former Yugoslavia was taken by Patriarch Pavle as his personal grief, and wherever he was, he held daily services,'' Alexy II said, adding, ``I admire his personal devotional deeds.''


``Patriarch Pavle's activities and his prayers are needed especially now at this time of trouble experienced by the people of Serbia,'' Alexy II said.


A total of 112 Orthodox churches have been destroyed in Kosovo over the past 15 years.