UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon visits Decani Monastery and Cathedral church of St. George in Prizren

Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Province of Kosovo and Metohia

Decani – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon with his spouse and associates visited on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 within his one-day visit to Kosovo and Metohia the Decani Monastery. The distinguished guest was welcomed by heugomen of the monastery archimandrite Sava with hieromonk Petar and nun Nifonta. After he learned about the history of the monastery and the visit to the church UN Secretary General with his delegation had a talk with archimandrite Sava and Decani monks.

While visiting church Mr. Ban Ki-Moon especially emphasized the need for preserving spiritual and cultural heritage in Kosovo and pointed out the significance of the Decani monastery. Archimandrite Sava informed UN Secretary General with the significance of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo and Metohia for preservation of the identity and future of the Serbian nation in this region, and he also added that the Serbian Orthodox Church actively is working to establish bridges of trust and cooperation with all people of good will.А Манастир The Decani monastery was attacked four times after the war, f. Sava said, and said that actions of the international community must be taken against these acts. Heugomen of the monastery of Decani expressed a hope that the visit of Mr. Ban Ki-Moon would contribute a better protection of the objects of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Prizren – UN Secretary General in afternoon hours went to Prizren where he visited also the Cathedral Church of Saint George. The distinguished guest was welcomed by Their Graces Bishop Teodosije of Raska-Prizren and Jovan of Lipljan with priesthood. Bishop Teodosije informed Mr. Ban Ki-Moon and his associates with the life of small Serbian community in Prizren, where 8000 Serbs lived before the war and now there are only thirty Serbs and almost all are very old. The Bishop spoke of the pogrom of 2004 and the experiences with that terrible event.

Speaking of the need to enhance security and legal certainty for the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija, Bishop Theodosius emphasized that the return of displaced Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija in a serious crisis, especially after the recent crimes against the family Jevtic in Talinovac.

Mr. Ban Ki-moon spoke of the need for coexistence and interethnic tolerance, which is especially important in areas such as Prizren, where throughout history members of different faiths lived together.

His Grace Bishop Jovan of Lipljan, vicar of the Serbian Patriarch, presented the UN Secretary General a publication of the Serbian Orthodox Church entitled “Memorandum on the suffering of Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries in Kosovo and Metohija” and pointed out the significance of the Patriarchate of Pec as a historical seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Before the visit to the church of St. George, Mr. Ban Ki-moon visited a Roman Catholic church in Prizren and later, at the end of the one-day visit to Kosovo and Metohia he also visited Sinan Pasha mosque.