Patriarch Irinej commemorates victims on 20th anniversary of NATO bombing of Yugoslavia (+ VIDEO)

Niš, Serbia, March 26, 2019

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NATO launched a military operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on March 24, 1999, with airstrikes lasting until June 10, 1999. The bombings killed more than 500 civilians in more than 90 separate incidents and destroyed infrastructure and businesses.

On the 20th anniversary of this terrible aggression, His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia celebrated the Divine Liturgy and a memorial panikhida in honor of all the innocents who suffered during the attacks, reports the site of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

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His Holiness celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral of the Descent of the Holy Spirit in Niš, concelebrated by His Grace Arsenije of Niš. Following the Liturgy, a panikhida was served in honor of all who lost their lives in the NATO attacks, with a packed church adding their prayers for their departed loves ones.

Pat. Irinej reminded that gathered faithful of the great power that prayer has before the face of God, exhorting them to lay aside all their work on Sundays in order to gather together at the Divine Liturgy.

At a separate memorial event, His Holiness addressed the crowd recalling the sound of the alarm sirens that went off during the attacks. “We hear them in our dreams, in our memories. These are the most tragic days in our history… These are the sounds of hell,” the Patriarch said, reports

“They destroyed our factories, our industry, our roads, our railroads; they didn’t even spare the hospitals. They also didn’t spare the little children who happily came into this world and left it with sadness and tears. This is something only the devil can rejoice in,” Pat. Irinej lamented.

“Let God judge them in His righteousness. As we know, evil never brings good,” the primate stressed.

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