Kosovo police banned liturgy; Serbia's reaction: "It is high time they reacted"
Pristina parish priest Stanisa Arsic told Kosovo online that Kosovo police banned them from serving liturgy in the Church of Christ the Savior in Pristina todaySource: B92, Kosovo online
The liturgy was supposed to be held on the occasion of Savior's Day.
"This morning around half past five, the clergy from the church of St. Nicholas started to serve the holy liturgy on the occasion of Savior's Day in the Church of Christ the Savior in Pristina, however, after the policeman identified us, he forbade us to unlock the church," says Father Stanisa.
According to him, a large number of police officers were deployed next to the priest. "On the other hand, we noticed two more cars with the police, in order to prevent us from holding the liturgy," said Stanisa's father.
He also said that the priests and the believers were forced to return to the church of St. Nicholas after the police intervention.
"Having taken away our documents, we had to go back to the church of St. Nicholas. We have already informed Bishop Teodosije about the case and we were forced to hold the liturgy for Savior's Day in the church of St. Nicholas. We were not allowed to cut the feast cake, and pray to God for our suffering people in Kosovo and Metohija. And regardless of the fact that we have a court decision, that the temple is under the patronage of the church, that there is no obstacle to serve there, they simply did not allow us," the pastor said.
The reaction of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija, submitted to the media, states that "there is no doubt that this uncivilized act of the Kosovo Police was directly directed by the authorities in Pristina and shows their attitude towards religious freedoms in Kosovo and Metohija, SPC and believing Serbian people."
"Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija are being prevented from entering temples and shrines, praying to God and professing their faith, while SPC temples are being desecrated every day, and that is the reality with which Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija live," the statement said. It is also reminded that graffiti "Jesus hates Serbs" was written on this same Temple last year, along with numerous other derogatory messages.
"It is high time that the representatives of the international community clearly see what kind of persecution Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija are facing and take appropriate steps to protect the legitimate rights and freedoms of the Serbian people in the province," the Office for Kosovo and Metohija concludes.