By: George Conger
Patriarch Cyril of Moscow and All Russia has denounced NATO on the tenth anniversary of the Kosovo War and pledged its support to the Serbian Orthodox Church and government in its bid to regain Kosovo.
In a letter addressed to Patriarch Paul of Belgrade published on the Moscow Patriarchate’s website on March 24, Cyril stated “the Russian Church will endeavour to raise its voice and protect God’s truth, protect our Orthodox brothers and sisters living in the Kosovo district of Serbia and exiled from it, protect all victims of violence and flouting of justice.”
The expulsion of Kosovo’s Serb population following the war, has led to the wholesale destruction of Serbian religious and cultural sites by Kosovo’s Albanian majority, Serbia has claimed. The Russian Patriarch condemned the destruction of Orthodox churches, monasteries and religious sites saying the “the hands of impious” Albanians had fallen “with impunity” against the “sacred things in the heart of Serbian orthodoxy.”
The Russian government has also opposed Kosovo’s independence from Serbia, and has strongly opposed NATO’s attempts to resolve the conflict by backing the Kosovar independence.
NATO’s intervention on the side of the Kosovar Albanians was unjust, Cyril said. “Several countries, being sure they have the right to determine world’s fate, united to impose their will on a nation,” he said. The Russian Orthodox Church “has more than once spoke up to support our Sister-Church regarding the ways of settling the current crisis,” and would continue its campaign against Kosovar independence.
“Your sorrows are the pain of the entire Orthodox Church,” Cyril told Patriarch Paul.