Information Service of
the Serbian Orthodox Church

December 29, 2004


On the occasion of the 190th anniversary of Hadzi-Prodanov’s rebellion and the martyr’s death of the Holy Deacon Avakum, “Pravoslavlje”, the official publication of the Serbian Patriarchate and the organization Srpski Sabor Dveri are organizing a lecture on the topic “The Serb belongs to Christ” to be held on Thursday, December 30, 2004 at the Faculty of Machine Engineering in Belgrade.

Participants will include Protopresbyter-Stavrophor Hadzi-Ljubodrag Petrovic, Protopresbyter Radomir Popovic, philosopher Zarko Vidovic, and publicist Matej Arsenijevic.


After ten months of living in portable containers and one tent, the seven member brotherhood of Holy Archangels Monastery near Prizren has moved into its new living quarters. Upon the initiative of Bishop Artemije and with the help of the Serbian government and numerous donors, the new living quarters was built in the location of the former engraving studio in 84 work days with the industrious work of Serbs from nearby Brezovica. Construction work was completed under the supervision of the diocese's construction company, Rade Neimar, in coordination with the Republic of Serbia's Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments. Although representatives of the Council of Europe visited the destroyed holy shrine and others several times, actual restoration work did not begin. Consequently, in September Bishop Artemije decided to withdraw from the commission for the restoration of destroyed monuments and independently launched the restoration of the monasteries of Holy Archangels and Devic in order to create tolerable living conditions for the monks and nuns before the onset of winter.

Kosovo institutions regrettably not only failed to assist in the building of the new living quarters and the restoration of the monastery but the Kosovo ministry for culture actually sought to stop the restoration on the grounds that the terrain where the monastery is located allegedly does not belong to the Serbian Orthodox Church. Kosovo ministry for culture representative Zana Kryeziu personally wrote to Bishop Artemije on October 21, 2004 demanding that construction cease immediately and that the entire area "be returned to its original state" (i.e. that the rebuilt living quarters be torn down). Abbot Herman Vucicevic has confirmed that the monastery possesses a clear title to the land and that it is completely absurd to claim that one of the most important Serbian Orthodox holy shrines does not belong to the Church and the monks who live in it.

The long-term plan for restoration of the monastery foresees the use of the new living quarters to house the monks during the course of this winter and next year until a larger dormitory that was torched during the March violence this year can be rebuilt. When the new dormitory is completed, the present living quarters will serve to house the monastery workshops and as guest quarters. The monks of Holy Archangels are known for their engraving, especially the creation of pectoral and hand crosses.

Within the newly built quarters there is a chapel dedicated to St. Lazarus of the Four Days, where monastic religious services are already being conducted. Regular services were interrupted only for one month after the destruction of the monastery while the brotherhood was temporarily in exile in the nearby village of Sredska. Upon returning to the burned ruins of their holy shrine, a tent was immediately pitched where all monastic services were regularly conducted during the summer and autumn. The monastery regularly received Orthodox faithful from all part of Serbia, especially from nearby Sirinicka Zupa and Sredacka Zupa, as well as the remaining Serbs from Prizren. The monks of Holy Archangels regularly visit the Serbs expelled from Prizren who have been lodged in the German KFOR military base (in the former barracks of Serbian Emperor Dusan) near Prizren since their homes were looted and torched on March 17.

The monastery of Holy Archangels is presently protected by German KFOR troops, who assisted in clearing the ruins and ensuring conditions existed for the beginning of work on the restoration of the monastery. The monks hope that KFOR troops will be more conscientious and decisive in performing their duty in the future after allowing Albanian extremists to destroy all the property of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Prizren and surroundings by their complete passivity on March 17.

[Serbian Translation Services]

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