At Kosovo Monastery, Nationalist Clamor Disturbs the Peace

Source: The New York Times

March 16, 2021

The monastery’s Serbian Orthodox abbot says he is subject to “rabid nationalism” from all sides. His biggest headache: a land dispute with ethnic Albanians, whom he protected during the war in the 1990s.


Inside the walls of Father Sava Janjic’s 14th-century monastery reign silence and calm, interrupted by the occasional soft footfall of the few monks remaining in this revered outpost of the Serbian Orthodox Church in a hostile western Kosovo.

But outside the Visoki Decani Monastery, which is still protected by NATO troops more than two decades after war in the Balkans ended, is the persistent clamor of what Father Sava calls a “rabid nationalism” directed at him from all sides.

“This might be a sign that I am not wrong, that I am not on the bad side,” said the 56-year-old abbot, dressed in a long black cassock, standing near the altar of his monastery’s medieval stone church. “I’m now attacked by extremists on all sides.”


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