[Published in The Voice of Canadian Serbs, May 2008]

Toronto One of the purposes of the event entitled “Violence Against Christian Serbs and Their Holy Places in Kosovo “ was to remind the audience of an unprecedented crime, a systematic destruction of Serbian cultural heritage by Albanian Islamists in Kosovo and Metohija . The event was jointly sponsored by Boba Borojevic, Father David Beleden of St. Dunstan’s Orthodox Mission and Father David Burrows of St. Olave’s Anglican Church in Toronto on May 11, 2008.

Christian Serbs are the most endangered ethnic group in Europe, as are their Christian Orthodox Churches and monasteries in Kosovo and Metohija under the jurisdiction of the UN, NATO , USA and EU. According to the data of the government of the Republic of Serbia , since UN/NATO troops occupied the Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija in 1999, Albanians destroyed 156 Serbian orthodox churches and monasteries, out of which 34 were destroyed in two days only, from March 17- 18, 2004. The destruction of the Serbian cultural heritage by Albanians represents clear cultural genocide in contemporary Europe .

In her brief address to the audience Boba Borojevic cited recent communiqué by Serbian Bishop of Raska and Prizren Eparchy, Artemije: “The tendency for changing the spiritual identity of Kosovo and destroying all traces of Serbia’s presence is clear…Not a single place of worship which was mentioned in the memorandum of the Council of Europe for renovation has been restored or brought back into working order by those who destroyed them, and nothing more can be expected in the future.” Indeed, there is tendency of the Kosovo Albanian institutions to label the Serb heritage monuments and churches by any names other than Serbian. According to Bishop Artemije, Albanians name Serbian cultural monuments in Kosovo and Metohija Byzantine, Kosovar, Illyrian or Orthodox, but the term Serbian is never used though the fact remains that these churches and monasteries were built by the Serbian people under Serbian rule.

[Photo:: l.to r. Father David Burrows, Father Davic Belden, Prof. A.

Dundjerovic, Boba Borojevic, Father Keith Roderick and Dr. Desanka Krstich]

[Photo: Father K. Roderick, Boba Borojevic, Dr. Desanka Krstich and Father D. Burrows]

Guest speaker Fr. Keith Roderick of Christian Solidarity International spoke about the plight of Christian minorities throughout the world. His starting point that Serbs are minority in an independent Kosovo caused some commotion among the audience. But he managed to point out the importance of Serbian struggle to preserve Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija and to have Serbian voices seen as a way of “legitimizing” that culture. “Once somebody is able to redefine your history on the international stage, tell you who you are and define your character by fear as subservience and tell you that you really don’t belong, even though you are the indigenous population it is very difficult to overcome, but not impossible,” said Fr. Roderick. “In Kosovo, the indigenous nature of Serbian culture is been assaulted as part of the process of inferring upon its illegitimacy. Serbs must resist the cultural genocide which is taking place. I call it cultural genocide, because it is purposeful erasure of the history and the character and the culture of the Serbian minority and those of other minorities in Kosovo,” stressed Fr. Roderick.

In her informative presentation, Dr. Desanka Krstich used slides to prove the indisputable fact that Kosovo and Metohija belongs to Serbian people historically, spiritually and legally.

In addition, Boba Borojevic showed an exhibition “Serbian cultural heritage of Kosovo and Metohija”, which was sent to Canada and blessed by his Grace Bishop of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo and Metohija, Artemije.

[Photo: The audience at St. Olave’s Church ]

The hall of St. Olave’s Aglican Church was large enough and able to receive anaudience of seventy people. Present were Mr. Goran Savic of the Serbian Consulate General in Toronto , Bishop Damaskin Davidovic former zapadno-evropski, Mr. Bora Dragasevic and his wife Draga Dragasevic of Serbian National Shield Society of Canada, Fr. David Burrows of St. Olave’s Anglican church, Fr. David Belden of St. Dunstan’s Orthodox Mission and parishioners. None of the priests of Serbian Orthodox Church in Toronto who were approached to organize the exhibition was able to accept the offer due to a busy schedule and post Easter activities.

After the Ottawa , and Toronto presentations, the exhibition will move back to Kosovo and Metohija, and then to other European cities.

Boba Borojevi

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