Thursday, March 15, 2007

Spare a Prayer for Serbia

I do feel for the Christians of Serbia. Given the history of their nation, especially in Kosovo, I can understand why international sympathy is generally not with them when reports of church desecrations and attacks on Christians take place, as they did on March 4 in Pec (see I also appreciate that these attacks by Albanians are somewhat nationalistic in nature and so it is hard to discern whether they are ethnic or religious in nature. But the fact is, persecution in the 21st century is not always absolutely purely for religious reasons in many places. If the Serbs were Muslims or if they were to convert to Islam, would these attacks place? I don't know. It is hard to say.

Nevertheless, someone has to speak on their behalf from time to time and let the world know what they are going through. It is worth noting that the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church strongly rebuked the Serbian government during the conflict in Kosovo when so many atrocities took place, especially when the government tried to wrap itself in an Orthodox robe (e.g. and

Having spent time in the former Yugoslavia during the 1980's, the region has a soft spot in my heart. Later, I was in Albania in 1998 when NATO began flying over Kosovo and I remember the ill feelings towards the Serbs at the time. My prayer is that we can move beyond that and try to remember that there are Christians in the region who are now suffering the consequences of their former government's deeds.

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