The Serbian Orthodox Church supported the genocide of Bosnians

Srebrenica-Video documents serious allegations

After the release of the so-called Srebrenica videos, the Society for threatened Peoples – International (GfbV) raised serious allegations against the Serbian Orthodox Church. "The Serbian Orthodox Church supported the murder and expulsion of Bosnian Muslims and thereby the absolute obliteration of the 500 years old tradition of central European Islam in Bosnia,” Tilman Zülch, President of the GfbV-International, said on Tuesday in Göttingen. "The video documents, once more, how this Church was directly mired in the genocide of Bosnian Muslims.” The video shows how the popular Serbian abbot Gavrilo from the monastery of the holy archangel in Privina Glava (near Sid, north west from Belgrade) blessed the Serbian murderers of six Muslim civilians from Srebrenica.


"A similar scene can be seen on a photograph of the Reuters Agency that has already circulated worldwide. The photograph was taken on July 25th, 2005, a few days after the shootings of at least 7,800 Bosnian men and boys from the former UN safe zone in eastern Bosnia by Serbian units,” Zülch reports. "It shows Patriarch Pavle – the highest clergyman of the Serbian Orthodox Church who is, today, on international arrest warrant next to the two major war criminals Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic – reaching out blessed bread in Sokolac near Sarajevo.”


On New Year’s Eve 1994/1995, the Holy Synod – the highest leading body of the Serbian Orthodox Church – still declared it "unchristian” to designate the Serbian army as the aggressor,” Zülch recalls. "Since 1991, Patriarch Pavle and a vast majority of Serbian bishops have repeatedly stood up for Serbia’s annexation of ethnically cleansed regions in Croatia and Bosnia. In July 1994, the Serbian bishops conference, led by "his Holiness” the Serbian Patriarch Pavle, called upon the Serbian nation to raise in full responsibility towards God and the people. In October 1994, the Serbian Orthodox Church opposed to sign any draft of the international society’s peace plan, unless the regions occupied by Serbia be attached to Serbia.


A series of similar declarations made by Serbian bishops is available from the GfbV. The Serbian Orthodox bishop from Hildesheim, Konstantin Djokic, was the only bishop who delivered a confession of guilt of the Serbs. He consequently lost half of his western European bishopric.


Already during the Bosnian war, the GfbV had turned to the German Protestant Church (EKD) and the German Proetstant Church Congress to make them aware of the fact that Serbian troops in Bosnia had burned or demolished 1183 mosques and Muslim prayer houses, including magnificent memorials of the Islamic culture in Europe. It is on the very ruins of various mosques that the Serbian Orthodox Church began the building of churches like in Foca and Brcko. In Konjevic Polje, a new Serbian Orthodox Church was put up in the immediate proximity of the mass grave of murdered Muslims.


The GfbV calls up on the EKD, the Lutheran International Alliance, the World Church Congress, and the German Protestant Church Congress to resume a dialogue with the Serbian Orthodox Church. Because it is in many ways linked to the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Protestant Church above all must bring the Serbian Orthodox Church to a reversion. The latter must document its failure and make excuses to Bosnian victims.