|Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes - Missionary Support - Urgent: Villages set on fire in Kosovo|
+Very Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes,
President of the Decani Monastery Relief Fund USA
It is with great sadness that we recently learned some homes in the Kosovo villages of Istok and Drsnik were set on fire. We can only pray that arson will not now become a more frequent occurrence in the region.
Serbian families throughout Kosovo/Metohija continue to experience great hardship. The situation worsens day by day. So many people are still without basic necessities such as food and electricity. And the peace keeping troops have been withdrawing from the area.
Despite all the hardship and grim prospects for the foreseeable future, many Serbs still desire to return to their previously destroyed homes. The rebuilding process is slow, leaving many still barely holding on in refugee centers and living in containers used as temporary shelters. We here in America can hardly even imagine how a family can live in a small “container”! Meanwhile, those who now claim Kosovo and who have systematically persecuted the Serbian Orthodox population, are enjoying large, new homes!
For many complex political, diplomatic and other reasons, the situation faced by the Serbian Orthodox Church in the region of Kosovo/Metohija has been downplayed and even suppressed by the media. Even now, after so many years of strife and struggle, the fact that more then 150 churches and monasteries have been destroyed while fewer then five of these have been rebuilt or repaired, is little known in the U.S. America’s leadership has not made the situation in Serbia’s Kosovo Province a priority issue.
Now the peace keeping troops who have given some degree of protection to the remaining monasteries and churches, as well as to the villages and the Serbian civilians who live in them, are gradually withdrawing. Once these troops leave the region, the anticipated resurgence of attacks against the Serbian minority population and renewed efforts to erase all remnants of Serbian history and culture, may prove disastrous for the remaining churches, monasteries, and villages.
We appeal to all people of good will living in the region: may peace and mutual respect return to the land! Let your neighbor live as you yourself desire to live; his family is no different from your own. The same God created and cherishes both of you and desires that both you and your neighbor shall thrive and grow in the knowledge and love of God. Remember that the land of Kosovo/Metohija, like all the nations, states, provinces, and places on Earth, is God’s, not yours or your neighbor’s. All people and indeed, all living creatures, are only sojourners here. The true homeland of all is the eternal Kingdom of God. Let us rebuild our love for one another and for the God of all as we also build a future all our children can share.
Here in America, let us not forget that many elsewhere in the world still struggle just to survive from day to day. These others are no different from us; only God’s Grace has bestowed on us such great good fortune as to live in a more peaceful land and to enjoy greater material comfort. Let us never imagine we ourselves have somehow merited the blessings we have received, nor let us forget how easily such blessings can be withdrawn if those who have them fail to defend the principles of freedom, equality and justice for all.
Let us unceasingly continue, and especially now during Great Lent, to humbly pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who still live in Kosovo/Metohija.
If you can further support the efforts of the Decani Monastery Relief Fund to assist these afflicted souls by providing the most basic necessities of life, please send your donation to:
Decani Monastery Relief Fund
May our loving God bless your good heart and soul!
Peace to your soul!
Humbly Your Brothers and Sisters in Christ our Lord,
+Very Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
Who all pray for you!
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(c) Reverend Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes