Albanian historians: „Abbot of Visoki Decani to apologize for genocide of the Serbian state and people. The monastery is Albanian“


Translation provided by KoSSev 

The Presidency of the Association of Kosovo Historians ‘Ali Hadri’, the Decani branch, harshly reacted to statements by, as they assessed, an anti-Albanian priest – Abbot Sava Janjic, who has been serving in the Albanian Orthodox monastery of Decani, a monastery usurped by Serbian occupiers – since the medieval period. They gave the statement last night for the Voice of America news program.

Referring to, among other things, the recent war in Kosovo, Abbot Janjic stated the following in an interview with Voice of America: „The monastery assisted Albanian citizens during the war.“

„This is not true and it does not reflect reality. The Decani Monastery played a negative role during the Kosovo liberation war and carried out anti-Albanian actions. We remind Abbot Janjic that the church services in which the highest leaders of the Visoki Decani monastery in this temple burned incense and sprayed hundreds of Serb paramilitary soldiers with holy water, who subsequently committed the most serious crimes against Albanians from Decani and the surrounding area, and beyond, are still fresh in our memory,” the historians’ reaction reads.

Abbot Sava Janjic also said: „The Visoki Decani Monastery belongs to the Serbian Orthodox Church.“ It is not true that the Decani Monastery belongs to the Serbian Church, as the Decani Monastery is a religious temple of Orthodox Albanians, which was restored on the foundations of an Illyrian-Dardanian temple and was built by Fra Vita Kuci on the land of Haka Kuci from Decani.

„This Albanian temple is usurped by Serbian occupiers, led by Stefan Uros III, Milutin’s son and Stefan Dusan’s father. In the relations of the seventeenth century, Fra Kurbin, the Roman pope, not only describes the Decani monastery, he points out that he met Albanian priests at the Decani monastery,” the reaction reads.

Abbot Janjic, among other things, emphasized that „we have Kosovo documents, we respect Kosovo laws.“ A complete insolence is evident in these public statements, for Abbot Janjic does not know or obey the laws of Kosovo, because if he had accepted the new reality in Kosovo, he would refer to our state as the Republic of Kosovo, not as „Kosovo and Metohija“.

The leadership of the ‘Ali Hadri’ branch in Decani called on Abbot Janjic to withdraw his statements and apologize for the genocide committed by the Serbian state and people against Kosovo Albanians from Decani.

„We also ask the Abbot to step back from provoking the security situation in Decani, because the estates and companies Apiko and Iliria do not belong to the Decani monastery. The estates belong to these enterprises and the municipality of Decani. We remind Sava and his subordinates that there are no Albanians who will transfer the property and companies Apiko and Illyria into the ownership of the Decani Monastery, because for us the decision of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Kosovo in 2016 is unacceptable and it is not enforceable because this document legitimizes the decisions from Milosevic’s time of violent measures,“ the historians said.


KoSSev: Abbot Sava Janjic of the Visoki Decani Monastery previously spoke to Voice of America, a section in Albanian language, about the implementation of the decision of the Kosovo Constitutional Court on returning 24 hectares of usurped land to this monastery. He also talked about the role of his church and monastery and his role in coexisting peacefully with his Albanian neighbors. The Mayor of Decani, Bashkim Ramosaj and president of the Ali Hadri Association from Decani, Shkodran Imeraj voiced opposition to Abbot’s words in the same program.

This is not the first time that this association has used harsh words when talking about the monastery and the clergy, especially Abbot Sava Janjic, even after international representatives come out in support of the monastery. In addition to the allegations, they threatened with ultimatums, protests and roadblocks.

The Decani Monastery is not the only SOC building currently declared as Albanian heritage. The dispute of the legacy of the Novo Brdo fortress and church appeared in public two months ago. The site was an object of contention first over the unauthorized work on the remains of this cathedral church for the Serbian Orthodox bishops of Novo Brdo and Gracanica, and then over the presentation of the same site as a Catholic heritage, where a Catholic Mass was recently held.

The Serbian Minister of Culture and Information, Vladan Vukosavljevic wrote to the Vatican on the occasion, provoking a sharp reaction from the former Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister, Enver Hoxhaj.

„Churches, mosques, other objects of Kosovo’s cultural, historical and religious heritage belong to Kosovo and its citizens! The politicization of culture, science, history is a ridiculous and absurd game that Serbia is playing! Kosovo is a fact,“ Hoxhaj claimed.

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