Archbishop Teodosije: To do all which is in our power that a neighbour and a brother never turns against one’s own neighbour and brother

„We cannot glorify God if we don’t work on peace on earth and good will among peoples. That is the goal of all humankind, particularly here in Kosovo and Metohija where, 20 years after the armed conflict in which many innocent people suffered, which we remember and honor regardless of their ethnicity or religion, we must make efforts that a neighbour never turns against one’s own neighbor, and a brother against his brother“, said Archbishop Teodosije today in Prizren.

During his welcome note at the traditional Orthodox New Year’s reception in the Diocese’s seat, he emphasised the importance of respecting one another, various traditions in order for every one to live in peace and understanding.

„We cannot have outword peace unless we first have it in our hearts. This is the reason why there are so many misfortunes and wars and suffering in the world because instead of finding peace in our hearts, human beings see enemies in their neighbours“, said Teodosije.

„Because wherever there is peace and love towards the neighbour we will make space for God to dwell among us,“ he added.

Kosovo truly to become a home for us all

„At the beginning of the New Year 2020 we pray to God to grant us a year peaceful and blessed and that we resolve all disagreements through dialogue and understanding of one another, not through conflicts; to do all which is in our power that the society in which we live in here in Kosovo and Metohija would truly become home for all its residents regardless of our ethnicity or religious tradition, so that everyone would be safe and could have a better future, particularly the young people“.

The reception was attended by representatives of the Muslim, Jewish and Protestant communities – Chief Prizren Imam Orhan Bislimaj, President of the Jewish Community Votem Demiri; representatives of the international diplomatic community, the Kosovo Police, KFOR, as well as Serbian political representatives from Gracanica, along with Kosovo Mayor Srdjan Popovic, and Agriculture Minister Diana Zivic were also present.

The full speech:

Your Excellences,

I am taking this opportunity to express my distinct pleasure that we have gathered today at the seat of our Diocese of Raška and Prizren, one of the oldest institutions in this region, in order to celebrate the beginning of the New Year of the Lord 2020 (according to the Julian Calendar). Many of you celebrated these holidays two weeks ago and we celebrate them these days, everyone according to one’s own tradition. Respecting one another let us not forget that our God is teaching us to respect Him who has created us all to live in peace and understanding.

The angelic hymn “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Still resounds in hearts of us Christians who have recently celebrated the Nativity of Christ – Christmas. Indeed, we cannot glorify God if we don’t work on peace on earth and good will among peoples. That is the goal of all humankind, particularly here in Kosovo and Metohija where, 20 years after the armed conflict in which many innocent people suffered, which we remember and honor regardless of their ethnicity or religion, we must make efforts that neghbor never turns against one’s own neighbor, and brother against his brother. God gave us enough earth, sky, water and fields to live in peace respecting one another and thus showing respect to God, our common Creator.

In order to be able to live in peace we first must acquire that true peace in our hearts, the peace that comes only from God and his love and in this peace to be able to recognize all people around us as created by God to be our eternal brothers. That is why we cannot have outword peace unless we first have it in our hearts. This is the reason why there are so many misfortunes and wars and suffering in the world because instead of finding peace in our hearts, human beings see enemies in their neighbors, repeating the horrible crime of Cain against Abel.

That is why we pray for that true peace of God, to reign in us and the whole world and to witness it in every place and every occasion. Only then we would be able to say that we are true servatns of God, because wherever there is peace and love towards the neighbor we will make space for God to dwell among us.

At the beginning of the New Year 2020 we pray to God to grant us a year peaceful and blessed and that we resolve all disagreements through dialog and understanding of one another, not though conflicts; to do all which is in our power that the society in which we live here in Kosovo and Metohija would truly become home for all its residents regardless of our ethnicity or regligious tradition, so that everyone would be safe and could have better future, particularly the young people.

Happy and blessed New Year of the Lord. Peace and blessing be unto you from God.

Prizren 1/14 January 2020

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