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The Sermon of Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro after the molieben in front of St Sava’s Cathedral in Belgrade in the presence of 300,000 Serbian Orthodox on 21 February

We stand before the face of the living God and His justice, and before the face of our holy ancestors, before the face of the Great-martyr Lazarus of Kosovo and the Great-martyr Stefan of Dečani. We stand here at this decisive moment in history, called upon to witness before God and humanity, before all the peoples of the world, to repeat and confirm once again who we are and what we are.

Now we know once again that we are all Kosovans, that our cradle and the cradle of our people, the place of our birth is Kosovo and Metohija. We attest that it is in Kosovo and Metohija that we joined the ranks of mature, historical peoples, and that it is through Kosovo and by Kosovo that we have built ourselves into the foundations of a respectable Europe and the entire respectable world of God and all its peoples.

When we say this here, before the face of the living God and before the face of St Sava, our spiritual father, in whom our soul encountered and committed itself to the Lord God and God’s eternal justice, then that means that for us Kosovo and Metohija are not the geography of a territory, but the topography of our life, purpose and commitment. Be our witnesses once again, O Christ God, Great-martyr Lazarus of Kosovo and St Sava, that we must not under any circumstances renounce the Peć Patriarchate nor the relics of the holy Archbishops of Serbia who are the holiest, most powerful deeds of title of our people and continuity. That we cannot renounce, as a people with its own place under the sun given us by God, the holy reliquary of the Holy King and Great-martyr Stefan of Dečani. May the head of Lazarus attest for us now and for always that our faith is strong before God and before humanity.

Now the mother of the Jugović brothers (heroes of the Battle of Kosovo) is mother to all of us: “Do not, my son, speak falsely, no matter what your father and your uncles say”. Do not, O powerful leader of the modern world, repeat what your father and your uncles say, but speak in accordance with the justice of the true God.

And sister to us all is the maiden of Kosovo. And still our hero Obilić asks us who is loyal and who is disloyal. Here before us we also have the great leader Karadjordje and his descendant, (King) Alexander Karadjordjević, to confirm that a person, that a people, is nothing without freedom and without dignity.

We also hear the Kosovo covenant of the Kosovo oath-taker Njegoš from Lovćen (a famous Serbian poet from Montenegro): “O Kosovo, site of Judgment Day”. And still today we are being judged in Kosovo as are the Albanians, the Americans, the British and the French, who today renounced their Victor Hugo, Franchet d’Espérey and de Gaulle.

Before witnesses such as these we must unite our hearts and the will of the people so that we can speak with one voice and one heart, not just now but tomorrow and the day after tomorrow and for as long as we exist and for as long a single descendant of our people exists in this world, so we can tell them that Kosovo and Metohija are the apple of our eye, the heart of our hearts, our holy city of Jerusalem and that we can renounce it neither in this worldly life nor in God’s eternal one, any more than we can renounce our own soul and our own destiny.

The only thing that is lost is what we ourselves renounce. That is why we are a historical people. Merely because we are few in number and because we cannot control the general circumstances of historical events in the modern world should we give up by the fact that we are great by our nature and historical calling and summons.

Kosovo and Metohija must not become words forgotten by us nor by anyone else in the world. Today we have been told by those who want to delete us from history by taking Kosovo and Metohija from us that these are unique cases. That is true, Kosovo and Metohija are unique cases, both by their fate and by what the powers that be seek to make of them at the beginning of the 21st century. What is being attempted in Kosovo and Metohija today can occur only during times of occupation, tyranny, and aggression.

How can we explain that in a period of mature humanity which has its United Nations, Security Council, international law and conventions, swears by human rights, how can we explain that these rights and this justice are valid for every corner of the earth, every people, and every country, only not for Kosovo and Metohija?

Yes, Kosovo and Metohija are unique and every country of our modern age is being judged there. Simple and coerced solutions are a sign of moral debility and weakness, not of strength, a sign of trust in the use of force as the ultimate method for resolving human disagreements and conflicts, not in God, Divine justice and human justice, on which the world rests. Both America and Europe know this, but their rulers do not. We have belonged to this Europe from the very start of our self-knowledge, historical maturity, and we desire community with its people in dignity and equality.

If the price that the EU, as a community of interests, asks is that we renounce ourselves, our historical memory, the Kosovo covenant that is by its nature a New Testament sealed not with ink but with the blood of our people, this we cannot accept. As a people we have never accepted, neither before Prince Lazarus, nor after him until 1941, nor today, such blackmail and such calls to trample on our own dignity, but on the justice that upholds states and cities. To trample on the dignity of all the countries and peoples of this world is something that we cannot permit ourselves to do.

Today, we are here for the same holy purpose: to defend not only our own honour and reputation, our freedom and dignity, but, also the dignity of a humiliated Europe. For Europe has never been more humiliated than it is today. The USA has never been more humiliated than today when it has humiliated itself with such injustice against an honourable people and its dignity.

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