Thursday, 11 September 2008
While Serbs in Romania enjoy all their basic human rights, including religious, guaranteed by the Romanian constitution, unfortunately Romanians living in Timok, Serbia are prohibited to even pray in their own language. "Romanians living in Serbia do not have any basic human rights, being discriminated for even practicing their religion in their native language," writes one of the prestigious Romanian daily papers, Evenimentul Zilei.
In the recent days, the prevailing opinion in the Balkans that Serbs and Romanians have excellent relations, is proving to be a farce. Apparently, the Serbian nationalism did not spare from persecution and discrimination the ethnic Romanian minority that lives in Timok, Serbia.
Here are the facts: in 2005, an ethnic Romanian of Serbia, Bojan Aleksandrovic was ordained by his Romanian Orthodox Bishop, his Highness, Daniil, and his property was turned into a church, a small religious community where ethnic Romanians would pray in their own language, baptize their newborns or mourn their deceased family members.
Frightened by the poor Romanian Orthodox bishop who could possibly rejuvenate the national identity of these persecuted ethnic Romanians for decades, Serbian authorities reacted in a very violent fashion, again. Initially, they tried to crushingly suppress the church. It was not even important that the church was Orthodox. In fact, "protection of Orthodoxy" is a motto Serbs always display whenever it is in their personal interests.
On April 2006, a delegation of Serbian Orthodox Church visited Bucharest to reach an agreement, "with a jaw towards the sky and the other towards the ground," a Romanian colloquialism. Sometimes with threats, and sometimes with soft-talking words such as "Orthodox brothers," Serbs achieved their goal by removing the Diocese of Romanian Orthodox Episcopate from Vrscac (Vrsoara) in Serbia to Romania.
They [Serbs] even asked to modify the title of episcopate, while we [Romanians] also agreed to not accuse them for being intentionally negative on this issue against ethnic Romanians in Serbia. Hence, the Episcopate of Vrsac became Dacia Felix, a title inspired by our [Romanian] horrendous fate.
According to the agreement signed in Bucharest, Serbs agreed that they would take care of ethnic Romanians living in Timok Valley in Serbia, meaning that they would ordain bishops who speak Romanian.
Henceforth, so to speak, the negotiations seemed to be moving ahead when a poorly educated Romanian bishop was ordained as from an angel, who always gallantly appeared onto his Cossack as of a reformed confessor. The ordained bishop, although he appeared to be a humble man, his deals with his Serbian Christian Orthodox friends to racketeer with electricity and wood products for construction became a very familiar habit.
Nevertheless, he kept his promise. But Serbs informed Bishop Bojan that they would excommunicate him from the right of preaching anymore. Motive? Because he gave his sermons in Romanian language! While ethnic Serbs in Romania enjoy their religious rights guaranteed by the state - have a Vicariat in Timisoara - the ethnic Romanians living in Timok Valley, in Serbia, are not allowed to pray in their native language. So much about human rights and religious rights in Serbia!
It is worth mentioning a bizarre statement of the Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Pavle regarding the activation of the Romanian episcopates in Bassarabia (Republic of Moldavia): "The history of the reactivation of the Metropolitan of Bassarabia is part of the darkest periods of human kind - resembling to the period of Nazi occupation!" May God have mercy on those who consider Serbs as "brothers."