26 August 2008

Please Help Advert the Crisis in Kosovo

Continuing Crisis in Kosovo/Metohija

By Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes

“Whoever gives a hand to help his neighbor is helped by God’s own hand.”

–St. Isaac of Syria

Fr. Nektarios blessing the people of the village of Osojane.

I have now visited Kosovo/Metohija four times in my role as president of the Dečani Monastery Relief Fund (DMRF). Following my most recent trip in July, 2008, I returned to America very conscious of the many blessings God has bestowed on me. The people I met and the conditions I saw on my travels had impressed on me the contrast between my own circumstances as an American and the great struggles and hardships still being endured by Serbian Orthodox Christians who remain living in that region. Indeed, my reflections on what I had witnessed there still bring tears to my eyes, especially the memory of the many people I met who also wept in expressing their deep appreciation for our assistance.

Accompanied by two monks from the Dečani Monastery, my mission of humanitarian aid was facilitated by Italian soldiers who escorted us in a three-truck convoy provided by the UN Peace-keeping Force. It is still impossible to travel within the region without an armed military escort and armored transportation since this remains very much a war zone. Orthodox clergy and Serbian civilians, despite being easily recognizable as unarmed non-combatants, continue to be in danger of ambush and attack.

Our convoy stopped at twelve villages. Six soldiers guarded us with their machine guns in hand as the village children and their families excitedly ran to greet us. Each received our blessing and an icon. Then the two monks and I distributed cash to these desperately needy people-- this financial assistance made possible by the DMRF.

Peace-keeping troops are currently still protecting the monasteries, churches and villages occupied by remaining Serbs but now the tanks that also used to patrol these areas have been recalled. Many fear that even more of the peace keepers will leave over the coming months. If this happens, the remnant Serbian families will lose what little safety they now enjoy in those parts of Kosovo they still occupy. These regions of course include their beloved historic sites and cultural treasures such as the Dečani Monastery and other monasteries and churches as well.

Fr. Nektarios with Italian UN Peace Keeping troops in Banja.

In addition to the twelve villages, I was also able to visit several historically significant monasteries-- Gračanica[1], Holy Archangels[2], Dević[3], and Sopoćani[4].

At Dečani, the monks are preparing to erect a new wall on the north end of the property to create a protective enclosure for their crops and livestock. The monks are appealing for financial assistance to pay for this new wall’s construction and of course, any contribution you can make toward building the monastery’s new northern wall would be greatly appreciated. Simply send your donation to the Fund and designate it to be used for the new wall.

Dečani is a World Heritage site. Its loss would be a tragedy not only for Kosovo, but for all mankind. But, quite frankly, salvaging this little corner of civilization and history will be possible only if enough people worldwide care about preserving our shared human heritage and will make the financial effort and the moral commitment. It will not be an easy project. In the past the Dečani Fund helped to build a southern wall to protect the monastery. Even so, Dečani has been attacked six times.

Fr. Nektarios at the new wall being built at Dečani Monastery.

In the twelve villages I visited, I saw more then 1,000 families. Most of these villages are in mountainous regions where Serbs relocated after fleeing their original homes in the cities and towns. In the remote areas where they now live, there are few opportunities for paid employment or farming. Food is scarce and conditions are harsh. The aid the Fund enables us to give them is the only lifeline for many.

On behalf of the diocese of His Grace, Bishop Artemije and His Grace, Bishop Teodosije, the monks of Dečani have expanded their assistance efforts by opening two additional soup kitchens so that now the DMRF supports three altogether in Kosovo/Metohija. These are located in the towns of Prekovce (Novo Brdo), Rečane (Kamenica) and Vrbovac (Vitina).

During this last trip, I accompanied Bishop Teodosije to a meeting with Bishop Artemije. We assured his Grace that the Fund will continue to assist his efforts to aid the people of his suffering and struggling diocese by supporting the three soup kitchens established by the diocese. After our meeting, Bishop Artemije invited me to serve together with him and Bishop Athanasios at the feast day liturgy at Holy Archangels Monastery. The bishop further expressed his gratitude by presenting me with an icon of St. John of Kronstadt.

The hardships endured by remaining Serbian citizens continue in Kosovo as the region goes through its most recent transition from a province of Serbia to an independent Albanian state. The ultimate outcome of these political and national realignments, which have been evolving since the break-up of the old Yugoslavia, is not a matter we feel we should express opinions about. As Christians, we must never doubt that God loves all His children equally. Ultimately, He holds Kosovo in His mighty hand, just as He holds America and the rest of the world. Our Christian concern in this situation is only for the casualties of the recent wars and strife in the Balkans, especially for those most vulnerable victims of the conflict— the very young and the frail elderly. Our Fund was instituted to alleviate the suffering of individuals and families whose basic human needs are great. It is our intention only to carry out the singular commission Jesus gave to all Christians: to serve God by serving our neighbors.

In this spirit, we must concentrate on addressing the practical aspects of assisting those persons who have been left desperately poor, hungry, or homeless as a result of the ongoing strife in Kosovo/Metohija. One of the soup kitchens now needs a new oven and two bread machines to achieve their goal of providing at least 600 loaves of bread for daily distribution. We need your donations to enable them to obtain this necessary equipment.

You can view a short video, “If we only had a little more bread”, that shows the soup kitchens serving their hungry patrons by going to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hX7rUmT5h04.

The DMRF also has a goal of providing shoes for the impoverished children of Kosovo. The region’s winters are cold and harsh. Yet many families cannot afford appropriate clothing or school supplies for their children. The Fund has in the past served as a life line for these families and we want to continue in this role. We have also been providing heating fuel for four schools, as well as assisting individual families to pay to heat their homes. We hope to be able to continue to provide this commodity so long as there is still so great a need for it.

We are now considering the possibility of setting up a scholarship program for the region’s youth. There are many bright, talented young people living in the impoverished villages of the region. Their future opportunities to cultivate and utilize the potential God has given them are quite limited due to the present circumstances. We would like to offer them hope through an academic scholarship program funded by the DMRF.

Fr. Nektarios visiting with the youth of the village of Goraždevac.

Before leaving the Dečani Monastery, the monks gave me, with the blessing of Bishop Teodosije, a hand painted icon of St. Basil of Ostrog. Bishop Teodosije and Fr. Andreji took me to the airport in Belgrade and the Bishop also presented to me there a medal from the Patriarchate of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

And so we continue to turn to you, our brothers and sisters in Christ, to ask you to stay with us in carrying out our Lord’s commission, given to His entire Christian family. In this material world, material resources are needed to ease suffering and fulfill needs. Along with our minds and souls and bodies, we must also commit our own resources to the mission. Jesus Himself asks no less of us; He Himself gave no less for us.

Please send your donation to:

Dečani Monastery Relief Fund

+Very Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes

2618 West Bannock Street

Boise, Idaho 83702


Be assured we shall remember you in prayer, as we ask also for your prayers.

Thank you!

Peace to your soul!

Your brothers and sisters in Christ our Lord,

+Very Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes, President

+His Grace, Bishop Teodosije, First Vice President

+Hieromonk (Father) Sava , Second Vice President

Lois Fletcher, Secretary

Gioia Maria Frahm, Treasurer

21 August 2008

Georgia and Russian Peoples To Remain Friends

The Moscow Patriarchate warns against anti-Georgian kindling in RussiaMoscow, August 20, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church urges peoples of Russia and Georgia to remain friends and warns against kindling hatred to each other. "Russian and Georgian people have always been together. We know that Russians have saved Georgians from enslavement and extermination more than once. We know, how we helped each other in our shared trials whether it was the Great Patriotic War or hardships of the Soviet period when faith and Church were persecuted," deputy chair of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin said on air of the Soyuz Orthodox TV channel. "We know how rich are our Orthodox Christian cultures, how many Russian-Georgian families live in Russia and Georgia, how many Georgians live in our country and make their worthy contribution in its economics, culture, science, and other spheres of life. Today it's very important not to waste the potential of our friendship and our mutual help," the priest stressed. According to him, "only a madman can declare all Georgians are enemies and kindle anti-Georgian moods in the country." "Politicians come and go, conflicts are always crowned with peace, but nations keep on living and we have to show wisdom, good will, patience and love so that our Orthodox peoples could always feel their connection to one God's affair, to one Church of Christ and always prefer peace to hostility and love to hatred," Fr. Vsevolod believes.

20 August 2008

WCC Involvement Makes Wary Faithful of Putin's Position

August 20, 2008
Russian and Serbian Church Needs To Leave the World Council of Churches and All Ecumenical Affiliations

There are calls from within the Orthodox Church to work with heretical organizations to safe guard the family and to fight against the rapid rate of degradation of Christian Morals that is afflicting Western Civilization.

When has ever the Church, whose head is Christ, the Allpowerful, need the help of heretical organizations to fight off that which has already been defeated by Christ? It all comes down to choice, whether we choose to heed these calls, or to stay true to our Faith. I believe that the best witness of the Orthodox Church to such calls and participations is to not be a participant, but to work in the traditional spheres troddened by the Holy Church Fathers of the True Ecumenical Councils to resolve these issues. We do not need to be participants in worldy organization with pseudo-spiritual claims, to solve worldy problems. Jesus Christ our Lord has already saved the World, it is for the participants of the world to accept this salvation and to surrender by sincere participation within the True Church to its salvific medicine, the sacraments of the Church, which heals the body politic as it heals the individuals. The Church has already done this, and it can do this again without the help of deceitful wolves singing siren songs to join them in their unholy war against the current decline into degradation.

Further more, I believe that the Moscow Patriarchate continued involvement with the WCC is actually making it very difficult for the Faithful, many whom are very aware of the propaganda that is spewing forth from the West to try and discredit the current leadership of Russia, to fully support Putin's and Medevev's actions in Georgia, which is not against the Georgian people at all, and especially not against the True Faith of Christ, but against the unlawful, unethical, encroachment of Western hegemony on the borders of what is naturally Russia's sphere of influence. A U.S. Military presence on the Borders of the Holy Russia, is unacceptable, and Putin has down the right thing to remove those bases and influences. He needs to do this, much in the same way that Constantine the Great protected the Church as directed by God Himself.

What does Western hegemony in the area of the Caucasus and the Balkans mean? What does it mean for the former soviet Bloc countries? It means exposure to a civilization that minimizes the importance of the Salvation of Mankind in pursuit of a life here on the Earth. It means exposure to a civilization that promotes a democracy that minimizes God's influence in all spheres of life, the private as well as the public: it is not just about money or capitilization. It is about infecting one civilization struggling to openly embrace the True Church with the diseases of another civilization simmering in the decay of its failed philosophies and economic excesses.

We are being forced to choose between the rewards here on earth and the rewards in heaven, not understanding that the roles of the leaders of Orthodox countries are to limit the influence of intentions of civilizations in the West and in the Middle East destroy the nascent re-emergence of Orthodoxy in the Caucasus and in the Balkans with their poisoness godless democratic ideals. Orthodox countries can make democracy work, but under the theology of an Orthodox perspective...and that is the only way that Democracy will work for Orthodox Christians.

Please don't be fooled by the propaganda.

In Christ,


Desecrations of Churches Sanctioned by Kosovar Goverment

August 18, 2008.

Source: Diocese of Ras-Prizren and Kosovo -Metohija

Communiqué of His Grace, Bishop of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija, Artemije regarding the latest desecration of the Holy Trinity Church in Djakovica

A text, “Sharp Protest by Bishop Teodosije to the chairwoman of the Commission for the reconstruction of the Council of Europe and to the SRSG” appeared on the Serbian Orthodox Church website (written in Visoki Decani Monastery on July 12th 2008). Being mentioned in the text, in the sense of competence and authority, we issue, in the light of facts, a following assessment of such a “sharp protest” of vicar Bishop Teodosije.

In regard to annihilation of the foundations of Holy Trinity Church in Djakovica, the presented protest consists of information that “last year, within the preparatory works for the conservation of the foundations and fencing them off, garbage from the site was taken away, since the site was turned into an illegal garbage dump”.

We remind that exactly then, in September 2007, we made a reaction, as construction machines appeared on the site (Public communiqué of the Raska and Prizren Diocese from September 26th 2007 – Eradication of Serbian traces in Kosovo and Metohija continues).

We pointed out then that “last few days, construction machines clear away the remains of the devotional church of Liberty”, we warned that “voices are heard, claiming that Djakovica municipal structures intend to alienate the plot of land, where the temple was erected, from the Diocese of Raska and Prizren, and make it a cadastral register of Djakovica Municipality”. Particularly, we indicated that “under the auspices of the international community in the last eight years, the Albanians perpetrate spiritual and national genocide against the Serb people”.

We also remind on the reaction of the Council for church reconstruction and construction of Raska and Prizren Diocese, which, under our chairmanship, warned: “It is an alarming fact that on one of the locations in Djakovica, which is under reconstruction according to the Memorandum, last traces of Holy Trinity Church undergo their final destruction by the Albanian terrorists. This church was destroyed in 1999, devastated again in March 2004, and desecrated today, in the “reconstruction” process (Council’s Media communiqué – Disagreement with the Memorandum, from October 3rd, 2007).

We remind, too, on previous statements, untrue and harmful, made by Commission for reconstruction, concerning the ownership of this site: “the location is politically disputed and the ownership is under dispute” (Commission for the reconstruction report, 2006), as well as on our reaction: “through its report, the Commission officially misinforms about the ownership dispute, the site is in the ownership of the Serbian Orthodox Church”. (The Truth about reconstruction – a report presented to the Ambassadors of Security Council, in April 2007).

Hence, on numerous occasions, we lodged, as the Diocesan Bishop, a sharp protest over the treatment of this site, both to the representatives of The Church and The State.

A year later, Minister of culture in the role of arbiter

The then Minister of Culture in the Government of Republic of Serbia, Vojislav Brajovic, sent us a letter regarding the church in Djakovica, informing on the oral agreement between Bishop Teodosije and UNMIK, concerning garbage cleaning from the site (the letter No. 06-00-163/207-01 from October 9th 2007).

“In the period between 2004 and 2007, the local Albanians were disposing garbage on the place of previous church location, which additionally desecrated the place where the church was situated. Commission for reconstruction of churches destroyed in the March pogrom in Kosovo and Metohija inserted this church in the list of churches planned for reconstruction… The UNMIK representatives also complained to the Commission’s representative of the Serbian Orthodox Church about the impossible state in which the site of the previous church was, and therefore the Serbian Orthodox Church representative, Bishop Teodosije, orally agreed with UNMIK proposal that the garbage be cleared away from the site, without carrying out any other works at the same time, or clearing away the church foundations. UNMIK representative, Mr. Reiner, vouched to stick to the agreement on garbage disposal and that nothing else would be done apart. Simultaneously, an initiative was started within the Commission for reconstruction, that, as the first phase of reconstruction of the destroyed church, the site of the church be protected by fencing it off by high panels, in order to stop further garbage disposal on the same place.

Unfortunately, a construction machine (caterpillar) used during garbage disposal from the site where the church was, also cleared off the debris from the destroyed temple. As far as we know, the machines were not used to dig out the remains of the church foundations. UNMIK representatives did not completely stick to the framework of the agreed work, since they used construction machine without any particular need. Bishop Teodosije immediately demanded from UNMIK to stop any further works, which was done momentarily. At the same time, it was requested that the experts from the Commission for reconstruction visit the site as soon as possible to determine the state of facts”.

Which questions were opened by the arbiter?

How is it possible that the works according to the Memorandum start and are carried out on the site merely upon the oral agreement (vicar Bishop Teodosije “orally agreed” with clearing off the garbage upon UNMIK suggestion, he orally communicated “without carrying on any other works at the same time, or clearing away the church foundations”)?

If Bishop Teodosije, as member of the Commission orally agreed the works, who, on behalf of the Commission, monitored these works, especially having in mind that it is church foundations that are on the site?

We learn that UNMIK representatives “did not completely stick to the framework of the agreed work”, but we do not understand who established “the framework”, according to which procedure, under which conditions, when?

Who demanded, and on whose behalf “it was requested that the experts from the Commission for reconstruction visit the site as soon as possible to determine the state of facts” (Minister’s letter)?

Did the experts from the Commission for reconstruction visit the location?

Did the Commission experts determine the state of facts?

Which activities did the Commission carry out on the site, ten months since clearing away garbage (September 2007-July 2008)?

Why the official Report in 2007 from the Commission for Reconstruction noticed no activities on church site in Djakovica – “last year, within preparatory works for the foundation conservation and fencing the site off, garbage disposal from the site was carried out” (Serbian Orthodox Church web site), but it is only made public in July 2008?

Did the Commission’s inactivity on the site had as a goal further elongation of the reconstruction of the Church in Djakovica?

Continual elongation of the reconstruction of Holy Trinity Church in Djakovica
Bishop Teodosije formed the attitude of prolonging the reconstruction of the church already in the beginning of Memorandum implementation, accepting the UNMIK and Interim Kosovo Government’s point of view:

“The Church of Holy Trinity in Djakovica, because of an extremely complicated security situation in Djakovica, is perceived, not only by Kosovo Government, but also by UNMIK as a serious political issue. Our opinion is that priority is reconstruction of Dormition of the Theotokos church in Djakovica, as well as of churches in Bistrazhin and Piskote, while the site in the centre of the town could be fenced off and protected until more favourable conditions are met for the reconstruction of Holy Trinity Church”. (Report on the first trimester work of the Commission for Reconstruction, August 21st 2005, vicar Bishop Teodosije).

Agreement on the elongation was expressed in 2006, too:

“Three objects in the zone of Djakovica Municipality (The Holy Trinity Cathedral, completely destroyed, its ruins taken away, the church of St. Elias in Bistrazhin and the chapel of St. Lazarus in Piskote) are enlisted in a special category of objects whose reconstruction will start only when necessary security conditions, which at the time are very bad in the municipality, are created” (The Report on the works of the Commission for reconstruction, 2006, Bishop Teodosije).

In March 2007, vicar Bishop Teodosije comes forth with a proposal:

“As far as Holy Trinity Cathedral in Djakovica is concerned, it is an object which should be completely reconstructed, most probably within the framework of wider and more comprising programme of reconstruction of all other objects of the Serbian Orthodox Church destroyed in 1999. This programme should be established after the completion of reconstruction of the objects destroyed in March 2004 pogrom”. (The overview of programme for objects planned for reconstruction, March 2007).

Aren’t all the presented statements a direct contradiction to the information which Bishop Teodosije gave in beginning of May 2008 to the Holy Archieratical Synod:

“During reconstruction process the Commission for the reconstruction came to a conclusion that only through constant motivation of all sides included in reconstruction and in expert cooperation on multiethnic basis, the best results can be achieved. The reconstruction process is a process which does not have political character, and has as a goal reconstruction of Serbian cultural heritage, destroyed or damaged, primarily in the parts of Kosovo inhabited mainly by Albanians, in experts’ cooperation, feasible, as a very important segment in stimulating returns and renewal of liturgical life” (Report on the works of Commission for reconstruction, 2007, Bishop Teodosije).

Did the information on “expert cooperation on multiethnic basis”, on “reconstruction process is a process which does not have political character”, on the fact that Serb heritage is durable and feasible “primarily in the parts of Kosovo inhabited mainly by Albanians” misinform both the Holy Archieratical Synod and the Holy Archieratical Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church as well as the public, just as Djakovica example confirms it?

It is clear who prolongs the reconstruction of the church in Djakovica!

It is clear who supports the prolongation of the activities on the location!

Until when the reconstruction is prolonged? “…Until necessary favourable conditions for the reconstruction of the church are met”.

Who is the arbiter that assesses that these “favourable conditions” are met?

According to which procedure this assessment will be made?

According to which procedure and who will appoint the arbiter?

Why the reconstruction of the church is prolonged for the programme “which yet has to be established”?

Why the reconstruction of the church is suggested “after the completion of reconstruction of the objects destroyed in March pogrom 2004?

Does it mean that the location is exempted from the Memorandum?

Why Vicar Bishop Teodosije engages so much in prolongation and in whose favour?

The Question of Responsibility

Who, after all, bears the responsibility for shortcomings in regard to the preservation of the Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija? Surely those who, contrary to canonical regulations, interfering in our competence and authority, forcefully maintained the implementation of the Memorandum. A disastrous activity on annihilation of the location by the Albanians and the prolongation of the reconstruction of the Serb temple in Djakovica, above all with consent of Serbian side (as well as prolongation and exempting other location from Memorandum) are just a few from the bitter fruits of such a reconstruction process.

Thus, we pose a question about the responsibility for lawlessly insisting on the continuation of the reconstruction process according to Memorandum;

The responsibility for taking away from us, as lawful diocesan Bishop, the right to decide on the matters of reconstruction of sanctuaries in our Diocese;

The responsibility for not accepting our request, as the diocesan Bishop on determining new principles of reconstruction, i.e. the responsibility for the consequences of continuation of such a reconstruction, even after an argument-based and official indication on numerous flaws and inconceivable consequences;

The responsibility for enabling the Interim institution of self-government in Kosovo to fulfill the standard set for this area, standard VI;

The responsibility for supporting Council of Europe and Albanian institutions in their efforts to make the mechanism of “cooperation”, which came out of the Memorandum, grow into permanent model of institutional framework for protection of Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija;

The responsibility for enabling Albanian side to achieve references to work on the reconstruction of Serbian cultural heritage. Such references they could not have achieved without approval of the Serbian church, what UNMIK representative reminds us on, too: “The Albanian companies work on the restoration of the Serbian Church. It was decided by the Serbian Orthodox Church and hence I believe that everything is possible” (statement made by Fedor Klimchuk, Public debate on the work of Ministry for Culture, Youth and Sport, November 30th 2007);

The responsibility for entering into reconstruction process before assessment of damage inflicted during vandalisms, i.e. responsibility for annihilation of proofs on the inflicted damage;

The responsibility for destruction of the Serbian cultural heritage fund in the process of reconstruction by leaving out the indispensable construction phases and drifting from established regulations and standards;

The responsibility for stability of the objects, especially in case of earthquakes, due to disrespect of construction regulation in seismic zones and the responsibility for the people using those objects;

The responsibility for accepting the archaeological strategy as directive coming from the session of UNESCO and Council of Europe working group, held in 2005 in Paris;

The responsibility of turning the reconstruction into “mediation between differences”, for turning Serbian land into multiethnic Kosovo with no Serbs (250 000 expelled, out of which 207 000 internally displaced persons who still wait to return to their homes; violation of human rights and limited liberty of movement for members of ethnically discriminated communities; low profile terror directed towards members of ethnically discriminated communities, their property, cultural and religious heritage);

The responsibility for depriving Serb institutions of full responsibility for the care over Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija;

The responsibility for alienating the Serbian people as a whole from its spiritual and cultural heritage;

On and on, endlessly…

Bishop of Raska-Prizren
And Kosovo-Metohija

18 August 2008

Fr. Andrew Speaks Out Against US Propaganda

The End of US and EU Hegemony and Hubris?

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, the ensuing self-liberation of Stalin’s Eastern Europe and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States of America came to dominate the world. US-led Capitalism, the ‘democratic freedom’ to be rich or poor, had triumphed over ‘the evil empire’. ‘The end of history’ had arrived and Mr Bush’s ‘new world order’, that is, the imperial diktat of the USA, was to be enforced globally.

So thought triumphalist Western imperialists, especially after the first victorious war to free Kuwait from Iraq. However, pride always goes before the fall and the fall always comes after pride. Within a few years of 1991, US hegemony was challenged by Islam. On the feast of the Beheading of St John the Baptist came the ous attacks of the CIA-trained Bin Laden. And later, on the feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, would come a ous attack in London on President Bush’s most loyal ally, Mr Blair.

The USA decided to attack the CIA-installed Saddam Hussein and capture oil-rich Iraq. Then came further irony. The USA and some of its NATO allies tried through a puppet government to control Afghanistan, where in the nineteenth century the British Empire and in the twentieth century the Soviet Empire had already been defeated. Ignoring these clear warnings, so the leaderships of the USA and its allies fell of their own free will into the traps of the disastrous invasions and lost wars of Afghanistan and Iraq, its new Vietnams. (What are ‘North Atlantic’ forces doing on the borders of the Himalayas?). Thus Baghdad, which means ‘God-given’, became the scene of the fall of Babylon once more.

These hopeless wars have cost the US over 4,000 American lives and, so say the experts, three trillion dollars. Now the heavily-indebted US economy is collapsing into recession, sustained only by huge amounts of Chinese money. EU economies, dominated by irresponsibly greedy banking corporations, are falling together with the US. The final curtain on US (and EU) hubris and its hegemonistic illusion of a unipolar world is now perhaps being lowered. The fall of this ‘new world order’ is taking place in Georgia, whose pipelines, on which the EU is partially dependent, are coveted by the US.

With the same hubris as Washington, the pro-NATO puppet government of the US-educated and orchestrated President of Georgia foolishly dared to invade South Ossetia. All this has been carried out by this Georgian warlord, with his very dubious human rights record and who is much disliked by his own people, so that his country could become a member of NATO. His forces, as reported even by the heavily-biased Western media, killed over 1,600 citizens with Russian passports. Little wonder that there have been calls for the Georgian leader to be tried for war crimes. The inevitable has happened. After making abundantly clear what would happen in the Caucasus if the US, aided by its puppet, the EU, invaded and took over the Kosovo and Metochia regions of southern Serbia, Russia has reacted. It has now used the provocation of allowing a part of the sovereign State of Serbia to declare independence and that of the Georgian invasion to retaliate against the American puppet in Tiflis. A Russian takeover is under way.

The US administration has been led into decline for eight years by the disastrously unpopular George Bush. His mandate, moreover, was only ever dubious, unlike that of the youthful and democratically-elected Russian Presidents Putin and now Medvedev. Sadly, the puppet President Bush and his neocon string-pullers have yet to understand that the twentieth century is over. Just as the eighteenth century was that of Imperial France, the nineteenth century that of Imperial Great Britain and the twentieth century that of the Imperial United States, so the twenty-first century belongs to others. Every Empire has its day, but it is no more than a day. Yesterday, Great Britain, today the USA, but tomorrow, the Lord knows. We fully expect resurgent Russia to oust the US puppets who have in the last fifteen years attempted to take over countries which have been in the Russian sphere of influence for centuries.

Georgia is only one country where nationalistic sentiments have been manipulated by the US administration with its twin propaganda myths of ‘democracy’ and ‘prosperity’. For democracy only means the freedom to choose between two products of the same political mafia, and prosperity only means the possibility of enslaving oneself to Mammon. After the warning given to Georgia, we expect the Ukraine, with its remote-controlled Russophobe President and his American spouse, to be the next to be liberated by Russian forces. Certainly for seven-eighths of the Ukraine and Carpatho-Russia (‘Transcarpathia’ as Ukrainian chauvinism calls it) a Russian takeover would indeed be liberation. Carpatho-Russia’s spiritual leader, Fr Dimitry Sidor, arrested, interrogated and harrassed by the Ukarinian secret police, would be freed. Only the heavily-Polonised far west Ukraine around Lvov would resent a Russian takeover. Perhaps that small area of Galicia, confiscated by Stalin in 1945, should be returned to Poland. In that case the Ukrainian problem would largely be solved at a stroke.

After this, we might also see Russian solutions to the problems of ex-Yugoslavia, which have most certainly not been provided by US and EU meddling. What has been triggered by the hypocritically American-organised provocation in South Ossetia is only a beginning. In an Eastern Europe saddled by borders fixed in the aftermaths of 1918 and 1945, we have already seen the disappearance of Czechoslovakia and the first round in the disappearance of ex-Yugoslavia. The borders fixed by the disastrous Treaty of Versailles in 1919 and those fixed in 1945 mean that irredentist minorities can be found all over Europe, East and West.

Even the break-up of the utterly artificial Belgium, a failed nineteenth-century invention of the Treaty of London, seems ever more likely: it is now considering separating into its component parts of Holland (Flanders) and France (Wallonia). And what of absurd borders in Western Europe, where a small area of Austria was long ago occupied by Italy and areas of Germany taken over by Belgium and France? Then there is Spain, where Basques, Catalans and Galicians want independence or at least a full federal constitution. Italians might well follow. That would surely also trigger further regionalisation in centralist France.

As for the absurd ‘United Kingdom’, a compromise-invention in the aftermath of the First World War, it is time that its component peoples were finally allowed self-determination and freedom. At last, long-suffering Ireland will be united and Wales, Scotland and England freed from the machinations of the foreign Establishment elite which has controlled them for centuries. As regards most of Western and Central Europe and parts of Eastern Europe, we would also expect great changes to the absurdly-named ‘European Union’, another elitist Tower of Babel, which its Brussels headquarters resembles. The EU has been rejected time and time again by its peoples, whenever, rarely, they have actually been allowed to express themselves freely. For the moment only Denmark, Ireland, France, Holland have been allowed to say an unrecognised No.

August 1914 marked the end of Europe as a world power. Twenty-five years and a month later, September 1939 marked the beginning of the Second European , become truly worldwide. Twenty-five years and a month later, October 1964 marked the first large-scale US involvement in Vietnam and an onslaught on the remaining spiritual and moral values of the Western world. Twenty-five years and a month later, November 1989 marked the fall of the Berlin Wall. Its consequences are still being played out on the world scene today. If the generational sequence continues, twenty-five years and a month from November 1989, December 2014 will mark further changes, perhaps connected with the reshaping of Europe, as outlined above. The first present events in Georgia must be seen in the light of greater forthcoming geopolitical movements.

Many are disturbed by the fact that two ‘Orthodox countries’, Russia and Georgia, are at war. Both their spiritual leaders, the Patriarch of Moscow and the Catholicos of Georgia, have called for peace and negotiations, ‘jaw not war’. But they are unlikely to be heeded by war-mongering Washington. Symbolically, one town reportedly visited yesterday by Russian troops is that of Gori, the birthplace of the of the Caucasus, Stalin. Indeed, until a few days ago his statue still stood on the main square of the town. Perhaps this war will at last exorcise the demons released by this evil monster, born in Gori in 1879 and these fifty-five years. For his ghost still haunts some Georgian politicians as well as the war-mongers of the West. Stalin is , but his spirit has not yet everywhere gone down to hell.

We are all disturbed by the events now taking place in the Caucasus. But those who have Faith are not ists. We know that although man proposes, God disposes. Everything remains possible, if only we pray for all the innocent victims, past, present and future, Ossetian, Georgian and Russian, of the political intriguers and powerbrokers of this world.

Fr Andrew
29 July/11 August 2008
St Eustathius of Mtskhet in Georgia

16 August 2008

Pray and Understand What is Really Happening Between Russia and Georgia--a war clandestinely provoked by U.S. and other Western interests

It seems that it is open season on President Medevev and Prime Minister Putin. Even Russians here are wanting to distance themselves from their former country. Everyday the newspapers denounce Russia's move to protect the citizens of Ossetia, who have made it very clear that they want to be with Russia.

The United States is actually using language such as the Russian's have trangressed the sovereignty of Georgia. Although I am just a plebian, I was raised never to trust the media, and that has always panned out. So here is my un-expert take on things, and it comes from the school of you don't need a weather man to know which way the wind is blowing.

What about the Sovereignty of Serbia? Bush uses the Sovereignty card it seems whenever it serves his purposes.

First of all President Michael Saakavashvili is a puppet of the United States, and the operations going on there on behalf of military and economic aid given to the Georgia have been too long tolerated by Russia, longer than actually necessary. The cowardly attack by Georgia, most likely with the backing of the United States--in my opinion, was timed to attempt to show Putin in his worse light. However, what shines forth with people with an Orthodox worldview, is a man who is undaunted in adversary and is able to act decisively and pro-actively. The might given his country by God he is able to use wisely. He is right to try and forestall the U.S. and other Western Countries from trying to isolate his country and bring it to ruin so that they can rape it again as they did when the Russian Oligarchs sold out to Western corporations at the expense of their peoples.

Here in the U.S., Certain people are trying to smear his name by saying that he is being uncivil to monasteries in Georgia. I'm positive that when the Truth comes out we will see that these operatives will be eating crow, and the U.S. expression goes. And they will be expose as what they are: plants to sow dissent amongst the emerging Orthodox peoples of the former soviet republics. We must fight this attempt and pray for our Georgian and Russian brothers and sisters, that the Mother of God herself will intercede for them, their Churches, Monasteries and their Countries and that the Truth will come out. The arrogance of certain Western countries must be checked, whether they promulagate their ungodly acts through puppet intermediaries such as Saakavashvili, or more directly such as the acts against Kosovo through the democratic parties leaders such as Clinton and Albright.

Please don't be fooled by this latest round of propaganda. Instead work so that all the Orthodox Churches reach out to each other here and in the Balkans and in Russia to beg God to guide us through this latest crisis.

In Christ,

15 August 2008

Decani Monastery in Danger

Asked what he would do to stop the municipal authorities’ attempts to expropriate the monastery’s assets by forging the property deeds, the UNMIK chief said that he had visited Dečani and told the municipal president that everything would have to be carried out in accordance with the law.

“This must be carried out in accordance with the law, while taking into account executive decisions that refer to cadastral registers," Zannier told Kontakt Plus Radio in Kosovska Mitrovica, adding that he had signed the executive decision extending the protected zone around the monastery by another three months on Wednesday.

In late 2005, then UNMIK Chief Soren Jessen Petersen signed an executive decision giving the High Dečani Monastery the status of a protected zone.

The decision signed by Zannier's predecessor Joachim Ruecker in May instructed the municipal authorities in Dečani to return the cadastral data for the monastery to its status as it was in 1998.

Following an investigation, the UNMIK Justice Department established that the municipal authorities in Dečani had illegally changed the register without any court ruling in 2001, when the monastery was deprived of 24 hectares of land.

Speaking about the Serbian Orthodox Church’s problems in Đakovica, where a city park is being built on the foundations of the local church, Zannier said that he had sent a letter to Kosovo Premier Hashim Thaci, informing him that such initiatives were completely inappropriate.