(CNSNews.com) - A United Nations push for Kosovo statehood will lead to the destruction of the minority Kosovar Serbs in the region, a Serbian Orthodox bishop warned here, urging the international community to reject the plans.
Kosovo is an autonomous province in Serbia with a population of about two million, most of whom are ethnic Albanian and Muslim. Eight years ago, NATO launched a military air campaign against Serbia to prevent atrocities against Kosovar Albanians.
The U.N., which has governed the province since the war, is in talks to recognize it as a self-governing state, but opponents worry it will lead to independence and could spell destruction for the minority Christian Serb community.
Dr. Artemije Radosavljevic, the bishop of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija, who has long been critical of plans for Kosovo's independence, warned Friday that Christians would be wiped out of the region under a completely independent regime.
"Kosovo Albanians committed numerous crimes and were conducting terror on Kosovo Serbs," Artemije told Cybercast News Service through a translator. "The independence of Kosovo would be a sort of reward for the terrorists ... that would lead to the total disappearance of my people in that province."
Artemije is in the United States to meet with lawmakers and urge them to block the plans to recognize independence for Kosovo.
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