Kosovo: Bishop's appeal for protection of monasteries

Published on December 7, 2008, B92

Category: Violence Against Christian Serbs and Their Holy Places

Gracanica attacked again

GRACANICA -- SPC Bishop Artemije has protested with a Swedish KFOR commander over three recent break-ins at the Gracanica monastery.

The Raško-Prizrenska Eparchy is reporting that the bishop asked that the Swedish soldiers, who are securing this Serbian Orthodox monastery in Kosovo built in the 14th century, to prevent any new forced entries.

"We are pleading with you to conduct the duty that your unit has been entrusted with – and that is the security the monastery – in a way in which military duty and discipline prescribe. Should you not be capable of that, please hand your duties over to those who will see to them properly," Artemije wrote in his letter to a Swedish lieutenant colonel commanding the unit in question.

The bishop explained that the last break-in took place on the night of Nov. 4, when perpetrators broke a window and demolished a door.

Artemije reminded that Gracanica was built in 1321, and that it has been placed on the UNESCO world heritage list.

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