H/T: Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate (here)
The Diocese of Ras-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija expressed their dissatisfaction and most severe protest to the international representatives in Kosovo and Metohija over the lack of international response to the stoning of the faithful who were returning on Sunday from the inauguration of His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej. At least some ten buses and cars were stoned by Albanians who gathered in the streets which lead out of the Pec Patriarchate. Several buses and smaller vehicles were damaged and at least one person was wounded and hospitalized.
Even though the attacks were in no way provoked and no doubt were ethnically and religiously motivated, no international offices or institutions in Kosovo and Metohija publicly condemned the vandalism. A representative of the self-proclaimed Kosovo government Memlji Krasniqi even made a statement that the homily of His Holiness the Patriarch, who has called for a peaceful co-existence of all in Kosovo and Metohija, as “a mixture of religion and politics” and that the statement was “absurd and without any real effect.” Such an attitude from the representative of the self-proclaimed institution, not mentioning a word about the attacks that took place after the inauguration, gives a formal justification for the violence that took place on the streets of Pec. Kosovo’s leading media also gave a negative tone to the enthronement of Patriarch Irinej with their typical accusations against the Serbian people and Church. The presence of the leaders of the ultra-radical organization “Self-Determination” Albin Kurti that day in Pec was also not a coincidence. His aggressive and threatening evaluations of the inauguration ceremony of the Serbian Patriarch which were shown on the leading Kosovo media are nothing but a continuation of the long-term campaign against the Serbian Orthodox Church conducted by this extreme organizations. The threats and sacrilegious posters that offend Patriarch Irinej is another indicator of the radically-minded hatred of Albanians and their willingness to repeat the violence that in recent years has destroyed 150 Serbian Orthodox churches, unfortunately, in the presence of international forces of peace. Of course, in all these charges the fact was not mentioned that this town in which the enthronement took place there are only 18 Serbian citizens from the pre-war population of 20,000. This situation is the best indicator of the freedom and quality of life that is being built in recent years in Kosovo and Metohija.
Even though the Kosovo police in a statement reported six arrested rioters, the general impression of those who were attacked with stones was that the police in several cases did not react and allowed the gathering of persons with more stones. It is amazing that neither the local police nor the international forces did not anticipate or wish to foresee militants groups preparing a public lynching Serbian pilgrims.
The absence of international condemnation of the media propaganda and attacks on vehicles of Serbian pilgrims can, regretfully, only be characterized as the suppressed toleration of religious and ethnic violence which does not lead to the progress of inter-ethnic relations in Kosovo and Metohija and discourages Serbs from freely visiting their holy shrines in accordance with their religious rights and freedoms, for which the international protectors of Kosovo praise themselves. At the same time, the Diocese is grateful to the Kosovo Strategic Action Network (KSAM) which includes some sixty non-governmental organizations and which issued a statement condemning the violence on the streets of Pec.
The best answer to these outbursts of ethnic and religious violence in the streets of Pec, which Kosovo Serbs have acclimated themselves to over the years, is the very celebration of the enthronement of the Serbian Patriarch which was peaceful and sublime, representing in the most dignified manner the many century tradition of the oldest existing institution in Kosovo and Metohija.
The office of the Diocese of Ras-Prizren