Thank you for your kind attention.
As the archpastor of the Christian of Kosovo and Metohija, I have come to America, once again, to bear witness to the agony that has befallen the Christian people of Kosovo and to warn against the path that lies before us.
I have also come to ask you to help change the current direction of American policy, which, if left as it is, will condemn my Christian people to extinction and create a new rogue state -- this time in Europe.
As you may remember, since the 1999 war Kosovo has been under United Nations and NATO control. Here in America, it appears almost everyone assumes there has been a big success, and Kosovo has been forgotten.
But under the nose of the U.N. and NATO, Kosovo has become a black hole of corruption and organized crime, including trafficking in drugs, weapons, and slaves. The local Muslim Albanian administration is controlled by members of a terrorist organization, the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which is closely tied to the Muslim Albanian mafia, which runs drug and slave rackets across Europe.
Since 1999, -- AFTER the end of the war -- , 220,000 Christian Serbs and non-Albanians have been forced to leave Kosovo, and more than a thousand Christians have been killed. Centuries-old churches and monasteries, more 150 of them, have been destroyed.
I cannot emphasize enough that the key element in all this is violence. A crime happens in Kosovo and Metohija every day. There is no end to it. Recently the church in Obilic was desecrated. When churches are attacked, particular targets for demonic rage are the crosses on top of the church, and images of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Most Holy Mother.
The Muslim Albanians and their defenders like to claim that the security situation is improving -- but in fact, any improvement in the crime numbers simply means there are fewer targets.
Murders continue. Just a few days ago there was a murder in Klina of a 68-year-old Christian who had returned to Kosovo on promises that the international community was going to be serious about security. So, now he too is dead.
But in Kosovo, even Christian dead to not rest. Recently the Christian cemetery in Staro Gracko was destroyed while the gentlemen representing Kosovo provisional institutions were touring Washington -- and being received with honors at the White House and State Department -- and telling everybody how the situation in Kosovo and Metohija has improved and how everything is just fine now. This is unprecedented and unbelievable hypocrisy on the part of the world toward everything that is happening in Kosovo and Metohija.
One of the men received in Washington was the so-called "prime minister" for the Kosovo Muslim Albanians, the man who would lead the government of a new state if Kosovo is detached from Serbia. This is a man who is an indicted war criminal in Serbia. According to the indictment, he bears command responsibility for the murders by KLA islamic terrorists of 669 Christians Serbs and 18 members of other ethnic groups, 518 counts of inflicting serious bodily harm (including torture) and wounding, and 584 counts of abduction, many of the victims of which are presumed dead. He was named military commander of the KLA in May 1999. The following month, after the end of hostilities between Serbia and NATO forces, KLA terrorists under his command intensified their attacks on civilian Christian Serbs, driving two-thirds of them from the province, as well as against Roma (Gypsies), Croats, Jews, Ashkalis, Gorani, and other non-Muslim or non-Albanians in Kosovo. This is the man who now comes to Washington to meet with Secretary Rice and have his picture taken. This is war on terror?
Among the characteristic jihad terror practices of the KLA is the beheading of victims, as seen in other countries with active jihad terror movements, such as Iraq (American soldiers and Iraqis alike), Indonesia (including some little girls), Israel, and Pakistan (American reporter Daniel Pearl), India (Kashmir), and Russia (Chechnya). On the Internet you can see photographs of uniformed KLA islamic terrorists -- whose identities are known but who have never been brought to justice -- with heads of their Christian Serb victims. In 1999, soon after the beginning of the international administration in Kosovo, the KLA kidnapped Hieromonk Hariton of the Holy Archangels monastery. His body, showing signs of torture, was found, but not his head. Why are jihad beheadings an outrage in the rest of the world, but not in Kosovo? This is jihad in Kosovo, which officially was launched in 1995 at a meeting in Tirana, Albania, between Osama bin Laden and two leaders of the KLA.
Every day, Kosovo more and more loses the aspect of a Christian land full of churches and monasteries and comes to look like a Muslim land full of mosques. This transformation is the direct result of violence and threat of violence. Meanwhile, hundreds of Wahhabi mosques have been built and continue to be built, mostly funded by Saudi Arabia and nations of the Persian Golf.
And now, carrying on a policy inherited from the past Administration, some officials in the American government demand, with more and more pressure, that my country, Serbia, must hand over part of its territory to this violent Islamic movement. Detaching Kosovo from democratic Serbia, of which it is an integral part, would mean a virtual sentence of extinction for my Christian people in the province and create a rogue state in which the terrorists are the government.
I can't understand why American officials want this. Maybe they think they will impress the Muslim countries. This is not just our problem -- it is your problem. At a time when America is leading the Free World in a global struggle against jihad terror, Kosovo must not continue to be an exception, where, for reasons we do not understand, American officials have taken the side of the criminal and jihadists. Sacrificing our land and our blood cannot buy protection from jihad.
The fact is, my country will say No to the demand that we give up Kosovo, whatever the pressure from Washington, or London, or Brussels. All politicians and parties say: not one Serbian hand will sign away Kosovo.
What I ask of you today, is that you raise your voice with your government to reassess this policy, which is bad for both America and Serbia. Please tell President Bush, and Secretary Rice -- this is a policy that needs to be reconsidered.
The Bishop of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija
Read the entire article on the The Diocese of Ras-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija website (new window will open).