**Bishop Atanasije Jevtic, 1999
The Cry of Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija**
Blessed art Thou, O Lord, the God of our Fathers, for righteous are all Thy works, and truthful are Thou in all Thy deeds; upright are Thy ways and Thy judgements are true and they bring salvation.
Judgements of truth and righteousness and punishment that leads to salvation hast Thou performed in all things which Thou hast brought upon us and upon our people and our land for our sins. In truth and righteousness Thou hast surrendered us into the hands of lawless enemies, the most hateful apostates and the ungodly among our own people and enslaved us through unjust foreign masters and a tyrant of this world most wicked of all in the earth.
For Thou were angered and we transgressed said one of Thy servants in the days of old, but it is more appropriate for us to say: we transgressed and that is why Thou were angered. And truly we have sinned, transgressed, and forsaken Thou and Thy covenant; we have sinned in everything and Thy commandments that lead to salvation we either ignored or did not manage to keep alive as Thou commanded so that we could live well upon the land that Thou our Lord and God has granted us.
And now O Lord we are not able to open our mouth; shame and reproach are we become for all men and the mankind upon the earth. For O Sovereign Master, we are become the least of all the nations and are humbled in our land and all the earth from the West to the East because of the wickedness and transgressions of our leaders and the despotism of the vainglorious “tyrants of this earth” and because of our own stumblings and our sins.
Together with our Patriarch and our father we are saying these words today in Kosovo and Metohija: "Day and night running away with our pauperised people from one place to another as a little boat tossed upon the high seas of a wide ocean. We try to speed up, waiting for the sunset, the day’s end and the passing of a dark night with this wintery wretchedness that has befallen us. Because there is no one out there to protect us or deliver us from afflictions. So our suffering was increased threefold and we pleaded: How long, O Lord wilt Thou utterly forget us, how long wilt Thou arm thyself against Thine inheritance? Rise up, why sleepest Thou, O Lord, wherefore turnest Thou Thy face away? And again: arise O Lord, help us and redeem us for Thy name’s sake. And so we are constantly adding one cry to another and yet help seems as far away as ever.
Because O Lord from on High, and Allseeing there is not a single Duke or leader that could be found among us, nor a genuine honest Serbian man with a sacrifice pure and unspoiled or an offering from a pure heart which has not become hardened. All of us strayed from Thy way, and distanced ourselves from Thee, and left- Thee, who are the Fountain of Life!- turning instead towards the new man-made wells whose water became polluted even before it dried up. So we now have only those murky wordly waters to drink from and they infect us with the poison of their scorpions and their serpents.
That is why Thou rightfully allowed this ‘Godforsakenness’ to descend upon us. This utterly deserved and never before experienced estrangement from Thee and from Thy People, and from ourself – in our own land and under our own skin.
Thy shrines and Holy places are desecrated and burned down all over our land; holy monastic communities are ruined and destroyed. The Venerable crosses and the icons of Thy Holy Saints and Martyrs are broken up and trampled on firstly by the feet of our own godless locals, then those of alien non-believers and other foreign invaders. Today as in times under the Turkish yoke, in this ancient Holy Land full of pious endowments of our Fathers “Christ alone spreads his hands awaiting the flock which is not there any more”. And it is not there O Lord, simply because Thy flock was betrayed and sold out, abandoned to the wolves and delivered into the hands of monsters, intruders, and conquerors – sold out for next to nothing as Slavic slaves – then left at the mercy of Albanian oppressors and heedless foreigners with hardened hearts.