Bosnian Muslim's 20-year legal battle ends with destruction of Orthodox church

Konjević Polje. Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina, June 8, 2021

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78-year-old Fata Orlović has been waging a legal battle for the past 21 years since she returned to her home in the Bosnian village of Konjević Polje in 2000 and found a Serbian Orthodox church on her property.

The church was built in 1996, and on Saturday, it was razed to the ground, reports the Dnevni avaz newspaper.

The Muslim woman returned to her home five years after the end of the 1992-1995 Bosnian civil war. According to the Dayton Accords, Bosnian refugees have the right to return to their homes and receive their property back. In this case, the property was returned to the Orlović family except for the site of the Orthodox church.

The woman took to the courts, and in January 2008, an out-of-court settlement was reached according to which the defendants were required to move the church. The government of Republika Srpska agreed to fund the relocation.

However, the church remained in its place, and Orlović appealed to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which ruled in October 2019 that the church must be moved from the plot or destroyed.

On Saturday, the church was demolished.

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Antiochene Son6/14/2021 6:40 pm
"The earth is the Lord's and everything in it." Churches should be built absolutely anywhere we can get away with it. Even if it's against the law.
Panagiotis6/12/2021 2:57 pm
Enoch: Who are you to ask the Orthodox to provide an "excuse" to you? This is an Orthodox Christian web site... If you are not Orthodox, then maybe you should visit a web site of protestant sects and their second hand religion... Having said that, if I lived in a Muslim land, I would have no problem with a Mosque built on my property, since I have respect for the Muslim people who are strong in their faith...
Enoch6/12/2021 10:44 am
Seems like all the Church community had to do was move the Church building and all of this could have been avoided... The town even said it would pay for it. What is the excuse here on the Orthodox side?
Alexander Leitner6/11/2021 10:47 pm
@David: Again you are posting nonsense! Right (law) and right is not always the same. And I know what I am talking about. Especially when it comes to the eurpean court. You also did not really get the point of my posts. ALL LAND WAS SERBIAN AND ORTHODOX TO START WITH. So it is an absolute normal thing that an orthodox church is built on orthodox Land. Many orthodox churches have been destroyed and desecrated by bosnians. Icons of the Most Holy Theotokos were trampled on and thrown into the dirt. Also in Kosovo ....serbian Land! No matter what european court says.
Panagiotis6/11/2021 2:26 am
Alexander: I agree with you my Brother. Those who are strong in the Orthodox Faith are not a street gang. A street gang is composed of punks who serve no constructive purpose. If it were not for strong Orthodox, our Church and our People would have been virtually decimated years ago. Let us never forget the Martyrs who were massacred, and those who fought and died in the heroic struggle against the Godless communists.... May their Memory be Eternal and may they be in a place of peace and light where there is no pain or suffering..... And for the evil bolsheviks who did this and who are no longer with us: May their memory be erased forever and may our God show no mercy on their souls.
David6/11/2021 1:28 am
Alexander: This court case has been on going for years. If this woman's property was illegally confiscated (which some would justify because she is a Muslim), then it was wrong to build a Church on the property. That doesn't mean it is necessarily the fault of the Church, as they could have been deceived about the ownership and rights. It is a tragic situation all around. You missed my point with the "street gang" reference. There is a sad trend on the internet of Orthodox "tribalism." Because this woman is a Muslim, then any mistreatment of her can be "justified" because of historical grievances (going in either direction). This is the sin I was referring to. If this was in Kosovo, and it was a Serb suing in a court to have a Mosque removed, you and others would likely be applauding (as would I, but maybe not for the same reasons). Right is right, and wrong is wrong. I'm not a Serb, so I have the luxury of objectivity. But my point still stands. As Christians we are called to do better and be better.
Alexander Leitner6/10/2021 8:26 pm
If the woman is of an ancient serbian origin it is even worse. How can she want to destroy a building of her ancestors? And you accuse the priests and the Serbian Orthodox Churchbof Bosnia being a "street gang" because it was officially built.
Alexander Leitner6/10/2021 8:20 pm
@David: where is the sin here? It is a sin to destroy a house of God. The whole earth belongs to God. I know this story very well. There was no need to destroy it. In Belgrade is a huge mosque and not even during war someone touched it. This has nothibg to do with "street gangs". What horrible nonsense!
Siluan6/10/2021 2:47 am
Alexander: I know. I'm a Serbian from Bosnia and an orthodox christian. Its not good that she commanded to destroy the church, but it wasnt also good that the church builded a church on a property which belongs to another person.
David6/10/2021 1:31 am
Alexander: The Turkish Yoke is well known by all, and its tragic legacy. That doesn't give us the right to sin against someone else because of "history." That Church should never have been built on that land. Orthodoxy isn't a street gang, it isn't "our people, right or wrong."
Panagiotis6/10/2021 1:21 am
The Bosnian Muslims are descended mainly from Serbian people, but also from Croatians and others. Their ancestors converted mainly for economic or political reasons or simply for survival. Therefore this lady is most likely descended from Serbs. Having said that, I have respect for strong Muslims who wish to live in peace with Orthodox People. When we fight each other this benefits those who hate us. At the end times there will be an alliance between strong Orthodox people and strong Muslim people, who will Unite to oppose the Antichrist (Dajjal).
Władimir Kowalchyk6/9/2021 9:44 pm
So...the people responsible for the church failed to move it after repeated injunctions to do so so that that poor woman could have her land back. That's pretty sad...
Alexander Leitner6/9/2021 2:51 pm
Siluan: the way of God? Muslims have nothing to do in Bosnia and also not Europe. The balkan muslims are a Relikt of the 500 years of occupation of turks. All the Land was serbian or orthodox. So to start with...who does the land belong to? Not to turks, not to muslims.
David6/9/2021 4:29 am
Another sad reminder of the war. Alexander: If that was a Mosque built on the confiscated property of a Serb in Kosovo or another like situation, there would praise for such a decision. Let us not be too hasty to cast aspersions when we don't know the circumstances. If the Church property was gained through immoral means, what blessing is that? I
Silouan6/8/2021 11:59 pm
As much as a love the church and the church as building, one must remark here that the church should obey the law of God. To build the church on a property, which belongs to another person is not the way of God.
Alexander Leitner6/8/2021 8:08 pm
Now she can be happy for being the reason for destroying a house of God.
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