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OUR MISSION/VISION STATEMENT

  • ST. BASIL'S CHURCH WILL STRIVE TO GLORIFY GOD THROUGH 

ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN WORSHIP,

SINCERE LOVE AND CARE FOR ONE ANOTHER,

AND SERVICE TO THOSE IN NEED AROUND US                  

Welcome! It is always an honor and a privilege when we have visitors worship with us at St. Basil’s.  Please consider filling out a “Visitor’s Card” at the Candle Desk and joining us for Coffee Hour after the liturgy. Please keep in mind that we have certain traditions and practices that perhaps you may not be accustomed to.  For example, modest and proper attire should be worn.  We do not practice so-called "Eucharistic hospitality" or "inter-Communion."  Only Baptized Orthodox Christians who have been to Holy Confession recently may receive Holy Communion.  If you are an Orthodox visitor and plan to receive Holy Communion, please call Fr. Peter ahead of time (518-273-6262).  

Sacraments are scheduled only by Baptized Orthodox Christians who go to church, go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on a regular basis. Please note that in order to schedule a sacrament; you must be a member in good standing of St. Basil's.  If you are a member of another Orthodox Church, you must bring a letter from the Parish Priest stating that you are a member in good standing of that parish.  All Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals must be scheduled ahead of time with Fr. Peter.  Not all days and times are permitted.  All canonical, traditional and liturgical practices of the Church must be followed and adhered to.    All Baptisms must be discussed with the parents of the child ahead of time. Thank you!

 

On Sunday, May 26, 2024, St. Basil's recognized Hannah Holowach who graduated from Catholic Central High in Saratoga Springs.  Hannah will be studying civil engineering at RPI in the fall.  Hannah, who was a part of our church school and is a member of our choir, received a monetary scholarship, an icon, and a copy of the Orthodox Study Bible.  We wish Hannah continued success in her studies and in all future endeavors.  Many years!

St. Basil's, a parish of the Orthodox Church in America, is a Christian community of people from various ethnic and social backgrounds sharing a common commitment to the Lord, each other, and the Apostolic Faith. We warmly welcome all families, couples, and individuals who are looking for a deeper experience of the salvation offered in Jesus Christ. Come and see!


We encourage you to visit the official website of the Diocese of NY and NJ, www.nynjoca.org

 It includes information about various Diocesan activities:  Teen Retreats, Altar Servers Retreats, Mens and Womens Retreats, Family Fun Days, the Bishop’s schedule, etc.. 

Diocesan Guidelines and other vital documents are also available.  News about parish events and activities throughout the Diocese are also posted.

518-273-6262

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SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Sunday of the Blind Man - June 9 - 9:10 am - Divine Liturgy followed by Special Parish Meeting

Tuesday - June 11 - 6:00 pm - Service of the Leavetaking of Pascha at St. Sophia G.O. Church, 440 Whitehall Rd, Albany, NY

Wednesday - June 12 - Leavetaking of Pascha - EVE OF THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD - 6:00 pm - Great Vespers with Blessing of Loaves. Confession

Thursday - June 13 - ASCENSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST - 9:10 am - Hours and Divine Liturgy

Saturday - June 15 - 9:30 am  - 4:00 pm - Altar Server's Retreat at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, 15 Hill Ave, Endicott, NY

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Sunday - June 16 - Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council - 9:10 am - Hours and Divine Liturgy. Coffee Hour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                       

                                                         

 

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His Holiness Patriarch Kirill Addresses the Blatant Examples of Pressure on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church

On the 27th of April 2024, in connection with new blatant examples of pressure on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, its episcopate, clergy, communities and monasteries, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’ has sent messages to the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches and a number of religious figures, and also addressed representatives of international organisations.

In his messages, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church spoke, in particular, about the fact that on April 24th, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) conducted searches in the Sviatohirsk Lavra – one of the largest monasteries of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, well-known in and outside of Ukraine. Its abbot, Metropolitan Arseny of Sviatohirsk, was notified of suspicions against him under political articles. The criminal proceedings against Metropolitan Arseny were instituted based on a sermon he had delivered, in which he had allegedly disclosed information about the disposition of the Ukrainian armed forces. During the search, Metropolitan Arseny was detained. On April 25, the court arrested him for a period of 60 days. He is now in custody without bail.

"In his allegedly incriminating sermon, Metropolitan Arseny told the worshippers that on the eve of a church feast, September 23, 2023, the SBU officials had set up checkpoints on a road to the monastery and conducted all-out identity checks on hundreds of believers who had been trying to get to the Lavra. While checking their documents, the SBU officials and members of local paramilitary units were illegally gathering the pilgrims’ personal data, phone numbers and e-mail addresses, and photographed each of them. In his sermon, Metropolitan Arseny pointed out the discriminatory nature of those identity checks and noted that the mass pilgrimages carried out by other religious confessions in Ukraine had faced no obstructions from the Ukrainian security services. By publicly mentioning the checkpoints Metropolitan Arseny caused no harm to the armed forces of Ukraine. He had an objective reason to do as he did – the pilgrims had faced obstructions when trying to attend divine services."

His Holiness emphasised: "Metropolitan Arseny’s sixty-day arrest on the factitious far-fetched grounds comes amid other punitive measures against public spokesmen of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and its news media "

In this regard, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’ mentioned that earlier, on March 13th, this year, the SBU reported that a criminal action had been brought against 14 employees of the Union of Orthodox Journalists religious news media on the charges of “high treason,” “collaboration” and other crimes.

"The criminal proceedings were initiated due to their work as journalists, that is, because they published information about the violations of the rights of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s faithful. Those violations were documented, in particular, in the Report on the Human Rights Situation in Ukraine published by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on October 4, 2023, and in other documents of the OHCHR and other international human rights organizations. Four of the journalists, including one priest, were arrested and taken into custody, facing many years’ or life imprisonment".

As His Holiness Patriarch Kirill noted, in April of this year, the Ukrainian authorities had also blocked, without disclosing the reason, several Orthodox internet news media that were covering the authorities’ religious policy and the plight of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and reported on facts of infringement of its believers’ rights.

And on April 12th, the SBU conducted a search at the place of residence of another spokesman of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – the deputy chairman of its Department for External Church Relations – having notified him of suspicions against him based on his public speeches. According to the SBU Press Service, he “was trying to discredit Ukraine in the international arena.” The charges against him were brought two days after he had informed a delegation of the Conference of European Churches which had arrived in Kyiv about facts of violation of believers’ rights in Ukraine, in particular, about the danger of a legislative ban to be placed on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, stated the Patriarch.

His Holiness also raised again the issue of the ongoing preparations in the Ukrainian Parliament for the adoption in the second reading Bill No. 8371 “On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine Regarding the Activities of Religious Organizations in Ukraine,” drafted by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. On 19 October 2023, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill delivered appeals in connection with the consideration of the document in the first reading. His Holiness emphasised: "The bill is aimed at imposing an actual ban on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and facilitating the seizure of its churches and property. The legislators themselves openly state their intentions in their public speeches. According to the parliamentarians, the bill may be adopted in the second reading in May this year ".

"The persecutions against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s faithful in Ukraine are taking the form of all-out anti-religious terror, with seizures of churches and monasteries, unlawful prosecution against clerics and laypeople, extrajudicial violence and closing down of the news media that reveal the truth about the persecutions." Patriarch Kirill stressed.

He pointed out that "the repressions are directed against those who try to use international forums to speak about the infringement of religious freedom, and their aim is to suppress any public witnessing to the religious persecutions by the time the legislative ban is placed on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and thousands of its communities in Ukraine.

At the same time, court trials continue of Metropolitan Pavel of Vyshhorod and Chernobyl, abbot of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra; Metropolitan Luke of Zaporizhzhia and Melitopol; Metropolitan Theodosy of Cherkasy and Kanev; Metropolitan Longin of Bancheny; as well as many clergymen. Criminal charges had been brought against all of them. Metropolitan Jonathan of Tulchyn and Bratslav, who was sentenced to five years in prison, is waiting for his case to be heard by the court of appeal.

***

"As pressure is mounting on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, taking the form of religious persecution, I am compelled to appeal for your support once again, mindful of St. Paul’s words: Whether one member suffer, all the members of the Orthodox Church suffer with it (1 Cor 12:26)" reads the messages that His Holiness Patriarch Kirill sent, in particular, to the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches.

His Holiness asked for prayers for the granting of God's help, courage and consolation to the suffering archpastors, pastors and the faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and urged to raise a voice in their support.

The messages of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’ were sent to His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and all the East, His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III of the Holy City of Jerusalem and all Palestine, His Holiness and His Beatitude Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II of All Georgia, His Beatitude Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania, the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana and all Albania, His Beatitude Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and all Poland, His Beatitude Metropolitan Rostislav of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of all America and Canada, His Beatitude Archbishop Stefan of Ohrid and Macedonia, as well as Pope Francis, Patriarch Tawadros II of the Coptic Church, Archbishop Justin Welby, Head of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop of Canterbury, Catholicos of the East and Metropolitan Baselios Marthoma Mathews III of the Malankara Church, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church Aram I, Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East Mar Awa III, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch and All the East Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches Dr Jerry Pillay, President of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Franklin Graham.

***

In the appeal to the leaders and representatives of international organisations, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’ asked them to "direct their attention to the aforementioned facts of the outrageous infringement of human rights in Ukraine and exert your efforts in order to defend the right to religious freedom of the faithful and communities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.".

Among the addressees of the messages are United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk, OSCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights Matteo Mecacci, Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović-Burić, OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities K. K. Abdrakhmanov, UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance K.P. Ashwini, UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief Nazila Ghani.

DECR Communication Service/Patriarchia.ru

Communique of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church
Published On: 20/05/2024

Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church ~ Communique from the regular meeting held at the Church of Saint Sava in Belgrade from 14 to 18 May 2024

The regular meeting of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church in 2024, initially announced to open ceremoniously at the Great Lavra of the Patriarchate of Peć – the historical, eight-century-old See of Serbian Archbishops and Patriarchs  commenced instead with a conciliar hierarchical Liturgy and invocation of the Holy Spirit at the Memorial Church of Saint Sava on Vračar, on Tuesday, 14 May 2024, due to the humiliating and disgraceful decision by the authorities in Priština to forbid and prevent His Holiness Serbian Patriarch kyr Porfirije and the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church from entering the territory of Kosovo and Metohija. The liturgical gathering was presided by His Holiness Serbian Patriarch kyr Porfirije, with the concelebration of present Hierarchs of the Serbian Church from the homeland and the diaspora, as well as all Vicar Bishops.

On the same day, in the crypt of the Memorial Church of Saint Sava, under the vaults of the chapel dedicated to the Kosovo martyr Prince Lazar, under the presidency of His Holiness and with the participation of Diocesan Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church, except for Bishop of Canada kyr Mitrofan who was absent due to health reasons, the Assembly began its work. At the start of the first working session, His Holiness the Patriarch addressed the present Bishops with a welcoming speech, filled with joy of the Resurrection but also in the context of the unpleasant events of the previous day. On this occasion, from its very first session, the Assembly issued a statement, appealing to all international factors on Kosovo and Metohija to do everything within their power to stop the flagrant violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of the Serbian People. The Assembly considers the issue of Kosovo and Metohija to be the most important matter discussed, as our Church, along with her people on much-suffering Kosovo and Metohija, has been for years subjected to great pressures, attacks, and still faces the uncertain future. Therefore, on this occasion, we give our support to the Diocese of Raška and Prizren, which, along with the Stavropegial Patriarchal monastery in Peć, represents a firm support to our people and their survival.

We note with the utmost concern that today the Kosovar authorities are undoubtedly moving towards denying the fundamental rights of our People and Church, all aimed at building an ethnically Albanian society. Due to this situation, the Assembly remains steadfast in its unanimous position that the problems on Kosovo and Metohija must be resolved exclusively through dialogue, based on the respect of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and international charters that guarantee the preservation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia in this area. Although our Church is not directly involved in the political dialogue between Belgrade and Priština, we cannot remain indifferent to the increasingly difficult developments and rightly expect that our positions and concerns for our faithful people and holy sites will be respected in this process. In this context, alongside the establishment of a functional Community of Serbian Municipalities, there should be a particular enhancement of institutional and security protection for our holy sites in the form of a special protection mechanism in accordance with some existing models in Europe, and based on previous provisions, which, unfortunately, are increasingly being disregarded and not implemented by Priština. Such protection should preserve the legal status, property rights of our Church, and freedom of religion.

In the same spirit, the work of the Assembly continued the next day, with special attention being dedicated to the matter of the suffering of our People and their struggle to preserve their spiritual, cultural, and national identity, as well as their mere existence, both today and in other historical moments. The non-healing wound of the Serbian people – Kosovo and Metohija, but also Jasenovac and other places of suffering in the so-called Independent State of Croatia and elsewhere, and in our days Srebrenica – are a constant “thorn in the flesh” of our Church. For this reason, the Church continues to raise its voice today, pointing out once again the falsehoods, both in local and global public spaces, whose goal is historical revisionism that would legitimize an unprecedented historical inversion. According to it, Orthodox Serbians, victims of multiple genocides and ethnical cleansings, should be declared not only criminals but also perpetrators of genocide.

The Assembly listened to and analyzed reports on the work of the Holy Synod of Bishops, Diocesan Hierarchs, the Great Ecclesiastical Court, the Patriarchal Administrative Board, the Patriarchal Library, the Museum and Archive of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Charitable Foundation “Philanthropy,” and other foundations, institutions, and services of the Serbian Orthodox Church over the past year.

With paternal attention and care, the Assembly considered ways to improve the spiritual life and organization of our Church abroad. In this spirit, four new Dioceses were formed in Europe. By dividing the Diocese of Britain and Scandinavia, the Scandinavian Diocese was formed with its See in Stockholm, whose Diocesan Hierarch will be the prior Bishop of Britain and Scandinavia kyr Dositej; and the Diocese of Britain and Ireland with its See in London, with former Vicar Bishop of His Holiness, Bishop of Jegar kyr Nektarije, being elected as its Bishop. By dividing the former Diocese of Austria and Switzerland, the Diocese of Austria was formed with its See in Vienna, which will be until further notice administered by Bishop of Bačka kyr Irinej; and the Diocese of Switzerland with its See in Zurich, for whose Bishop the former Bishop of Austria and Switzerland kyr Andrej was elected. Additionally, the Assembly approved new statutes for our Dioceses in the USA. The Assembly also approved a new statute for the Diocese of Düsseldorf and Germany.

Furthermore, the Assembly analyzed the pastoral and missionary needs and reviewed proposals from a number of Bishops for the election and appointment of vicar bishops to their Dioceses. After the consideration, the Assembly elected four new Bishops:  Archimandrite Tihon (Rakićević) – Hegumen of the Monastery of Studenica, with the title of Bishop of Moravica, and Hieromonk Nikon (Cvjetićanin), brother of the Monastery of Kovilj (Diocese of Bačka), with the title of Bishop of Jenopolje, as Vicar Bishops of His Holiness; Protosyncellus Pajsije (Đerković) – Hegumen of the Monastery of Cetinje, with the title of Bishop of Dioclea as Vicar Bishop of the Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral; and finally, Archimandrite Serafim (Baltić), cleric of the Diocese New Gračanica–Midwestern America, with the title of Bishop of Kostajnica, as Vicar of the Bishop of this Diocese.

The Assembly also dealt with the organization of our local Church, as well as amendments and additions to the provisions of the Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church concerning the titles of diocesan Hierarchs.

Special attention was given by the Assembly to analyzing the state and issues of ecclesiastical education, reviewing the status of Serbian Orthodox theological seminaries, their plans and programs, and ways and possibilities for their improvement. For this purpose, a special commission of the Assembly was formed. Additionally, the acting rectors of the theological seminaries of Saints Cyril and Methodius, temporarily in Niš, and of Saint Peter of Cetinje in Cetinje were elected as the permanent rectors: Protopresbyter Dejan Krstić as rector of the Theological Seminary in Niš and Protopresbyter Blagoje Rajković as rector of the Theological Seminary in Cetinje.

The Assembly also paid attention to the spiritual and geopolitical consequences of the armed conflicts in Ukraine and Palestine. On this occasion, the Assembly once again raises its voice in defense of the disenfranchised, famished, and displaced innocent victims, appealing to relevant international institutions to move from words of justice to concrete acts of justice, mercy, and peacemaking.

Emphasizing the immense significance of theology, virtuous life, and literary work in the service of witnessing the faith of Saint Justin of Ćelije (Popović) for the spiritual growth of the Serbian people and Orthodox nations in general, the Assembly prayerfully marked three significant jubilees dedicated to him on Sunday, 19 May: the 130th anniversary of his birth, the 45th anniversary of his repose, and the 15th anniversary of the inclusion of this great teacher of piety in the Diptychs of Saints of the Orthodox Church. The remembrance of Saint Justin was accompanied by the remembrance of two other significant figures from the recent past of our local Church – Serbian Patriarch Pavle, marking the fifteenth anniversary of his repose, and Metropolitan Irinej of New Gračanica, who fell asleep in the Lord 25 years ago. Both were great laborers in the work of national and ecclesiastical reconciliation and unity.

During the Assembly, a meeting of the Central Body for the Completion of the Construction of the Memorial Church of Saint Sava on Vračar was held. On this occasion, the report of this body on all the works carried out in the past year and on the contributions received from the devout people and our state, as well as on the remaining necessary works, was received.

At the invitation of the President of Serbia Mr. Aleksandar Vučić and Crown Prince Aleksandar Karađorđević, members of the Assembly paid visits to these esteemed individuals.

In the Holy Synod, the mandates of Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral kyr Joanikije and Bishop of Bačka kyr Irinej have ended, making them deputy members of this body for the next one-year period. Members of the Synod for the remaining one-year mandate are Bishop of Braničevo kyr Ignjatije and Bishop of Upper Karlovac kyr Gerasim, while new members elected for the upcoming two-year mandate are Bishop of Zvornik-Tuzla kyr Fotije and Bishop of Raška and Prizren kyr Teodosije.

Source: Website of the Serbian Orthodox Church:  https://spc.rs/en/

UNDER COVER OF NIGHT, UKRAINE DESTROYS TITHES CHURCH, BUILT ON SITE OF FIRST KIEVAN CATHEDRAL
Place where the Tithes Church stood
Place where the Tithes Church stood
Place where the Tithes Church stood
Tithes Church (in foreground) demolished May 17, 2024
Tithes Church (in foreground) demolished May 17, 2024
Tithes Church (in foreground) demolished May 17, 2024
Destroyed Tithes Church carried away by dump truck
Destroyed Tithes Church carried away by dump truck
Destroyed Tithes Church carried away by dump truck

Kiev, May 17, 2024

Ukraine’s National History Museum and anti-Orthodox nationalists have finally achieved their dream of dismantling and destroying a church that, until this morning, stood on the site of the first cathedral of Kievan Rus’.

The ancient cathedral was blown up by the godless authorities in 1936, but in 2006, the new church, belonging to the Tithes Monastery, was built by Kiev residents with the blessing of then-primate Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and All Ukraine.

The anti-Orthodox element in Ukraine has been trying to dismantle the church since at least 2018, during the time of President Petro Poroshenko, arguing that it was illegally built on the territory of the National History Museum.

The church was vandalized and set on fire on January 25, 2018. On February 3 of that year, about 200 radicals staged a protest near the monastery, calling for its dismantling. More than 3,000 came out to defend the monastery on the same day. The former abbot of the Tithes Monastery, His Grace Bishop Gideon of Makarov, was temporarily deprived of his Ukrainian citizenship in 2019-2020 after he spoke out about the persecution of the Church.

In February 2023, the Economic Court of Kiev ruled to dismantle the church, which was later upheld by other court rulings.

Last month, the Museum announced a fundraiser towards the church’s demolition, calling it a piece of “garbage.”

And last night, the Tithes Monastery and other sources began reporting on the demolition of the church.

“At present, the church is surrounded by police and military personnel, with many buses carrying soldiers,” the monastery wrote at 10:34 PM. The next message called for prayers and physical help from anyone who was able.

At 10:49, the monastery reported that police were trying to detain the monastery brethren. It later reported there were more than 100 armed police officers present.

At 11:40: “Jammers for mobile communication and internet have been activated at the site, and the entire perimeter of the mountain is cordoned off by police. The sound of bulldozers can be heard.”

At 12:18, the monastery posted video of massive dump trucks carrying away debris. “Icons… Crosses… The altar…” the monastery wrote.

“The church that was consecrated by His Beatitude Metropolitan Vladimir and His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry no longer exists…,” the monastery wrote at 12:20.

Source:  Orthochristian.com

PATRIARCH PORFIRIJE OF SERBIA FORBIDDEN ENTRY INTO KOSOVO
17 May 2024 year 10:22

The International Human Rights Alliance "Church Against Xenophobia and Discrimination" has described the refusal of the authorities of Kosovo to allow hierarchs led by Serbian Patriarch Porfirije to enter for worship and official events as a gross violation of international law and an act of discrimination against believers of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

As reported earlier, on May 13, 2024, His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije and a group of seven archpastors, who were heading to the monastery of the Serbian Patriarchate in Peć to perform the Divine Liturgy, with which they, according to tradition, were supposed to open the next Bishops' Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church, were stopped at the Merdare checkpoint on the administrative line separating Kosovo and Metohija from Central Serbia. Without explanation, the Serbian Patriarch and the accompanying hierarchs were informed that entry into the territory of the unrecognized "Republic of Kosovo" was prohibited for them.

In a statement published on May 16th by the press service of the Alliance "Church Against Xenophobia and Discrimination," attention is also drawn to the fact that this refusal is "not in any way justified" and furthermore, "it was not legally formalized, and at present the formal reason for the entry ban remains unknown."

"We consider it appropriate to organize a legal process to protect rights in this situation in accordance with international law, as well as according to the legislation in force in the territory of Kosovo," the statement said, posted on the website of the human rights organization. In this regard, the Human Rights Alliance "Church Against Xenophobia and Discrimination" will send corresponding proposals and recommendations to the Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarchate, as well as written requests regarding the incident to the authorities of Kosovo.

"On our part, the Alliance will ensure the presence of information on the fact of discrimination, unjustified restrictions on the freedom of movement, and religious activities of the hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church at international conferences related to Kosovo, including within the framework of reporting procedures for monitoring compliance with human rights standards," –emphasize the human rights activists.

The International Human Rights Association "Church Against Xenophobia and Religious Discrimination" was established in December 2023 by a group of hierarchs and clergy of Local Orthodox Churches together with non-governmental organizations "Public Advocacy", "VSI Zmogaus teisiu apsauga" and "European institute for religion and law", which have a consultative status within the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

DECR Communication Service/Patriarchia.ru