Kosovo and Metohija: Precarious Situation – Praying For Peace in Kosovo
By Elizabeth Kendal, World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission (WEA RLC)
2/8/07 Kosovo (ANS) — What we know today as Kosovo, southern Serbia , was historically two regions: Kosovo and Metohija. ‘Metohija’ comes from the Greek ‘metox’ referring to land set aside for the Church. Metohija, a large basin in the south-west comprising nearly half of ‘Kosovo’, is the spiritual heartland of Serbia and is filled with historic Eastern Orthodox churches and monasteries.
The (Muslim) Ottoman Empire advanced its imperialistic jihad into the Balkans in the 14th Century. For centuries the Christian peoples of the Balkans were subjugated under Islam and sorely persecuted. But then the Ottoman Empire started to crumble and they fought for and won their liberation. During the Ottoman era large numbers of Turkish and ethnic Albanian Muslims migrated into Serbia ‘s southern regions of Kosovo and Metohija, eventually comprising some 50 percent of the population. Their descendants are known as Kosovars. After the Balkan wars of liberation (1912) Islamist Kosovars complained that their (Muslim) land was ‘occupied’, and the Kosovar separatist struggle began. So the contemporary struggle between the mostly Muslim Kosovars and the Orthodox Serbs for control of Kosovo and Metohija is almost a century old.
The ethnic Albanian Muslim Kosovar cause has accelerated since 1941: first during World War Two through the Nazi-Muslim pact to exterminate Serbs, Jews and Roma/Gypsies in the Nazis’ ‘Greater Albania’; and then during the Communist era through the pro-Albanian, pro-Arab, anti-Serb policies of Croat Communist leader Marshall Tito. Tito refused to allow the Serbs who had been ethnically cleansed from Kosovo during WW2 the right to return. He dissolved Metohija because of its spiritual significance and turned Kosovo and Metohija into a single, separate and eventually autonomous majority ethnic Albanian province.
War erupted in 1999 and after NATO’s unilateral intervention Kosovo was declared a UN protectorate. Since then some 150 historic Orthodox Serbian churches and monasteries have been destroyed and an estimated 1000 Serbs and Roma have been kidnapped and murdered or disappeared (but not Jews, because Islamist expelled the entire Jewish remnant in 1999). Kosovo’s mostly internally displaced Serbs live in fear and poverty and cannot move without UN armed escorts. Meanwhile around 400 mosques have been built and the Islamisation and radicalisation of Kosovo has advanced without restraint.
The UN special envoy’s 2 February 2007 recommendation that Kosovo be granted supervised independence will soon go before the UN Security Council. Albania , all Islamic imperialists, the US and UK support this proposal. Russia and China (two countries that could face similar Muslim separatist claims should Kosovo be granted independence) are opposed to it. Needless to say Serbia rejects any suggestion that the UN excise 15 percent of Serbia ‘s territory and cede it to (mostly Muslim) separatists.
The US appeases Islamic imperialism in the Balkans for political expediency – the opposite of their response in the Horn of Africa. The situation for Kosovo’s Serbs (Christians of Eastern Orthodox tradition) is precarious and Balkans’ peace is tenuous.
PLEASE PRAY SPECIFICALLY FOR GOD TO:
* work powerfully through the UN forces to protect the tiny Orthodox Serb (and Roma) remnant in Kosovo so they will not be forced to defend themselves should hostile forces seek their removal or the destruction of more religious sites.
* protect all Kosovar converts to Christianity who are greatly at risk due to the escalating criminality and Islamic nationalist, imperialist and anti-Serb (anti-Christian) zeal in the province.
* give divine grace, wisdom and insight to Kosovar Christians, so they might see through nationalist propaganda and reach out in brotherly love to their Serb, enclave-imprisoned brethren, advocating for their security and liberty and tending to their needs, as a witness to the power of Christ for reconciliation.