Christ is Born - Glorify Him!

Blessed New Year 2002

Christmas epistle of Patriarch Pavle

Christmas in Decani Monastery - monks with a few pilgrims who came to the
monastery with KFOR escort

Decani Monastery Christmas Card Decani Monastery Winter Gallery

Celebration of badnyak - yule log

Orthodox Christmas celebrated in Kosovo and Metohija
festive joy under the threat of Albanian bomb-attacks

Kostunica condemns “violence and barbarity” in Kosovo (B92)
7. Jan 2002 20:06 BELGRADE, Tuesday – Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica said today that Christmas in Kosovo had been marred by “violence and barbarity by Albanian extremists.”

Kostunica said that recent outbreaks of violence were a warning that the situation in the province had not improved since the November elections when Belgrade agreed to urge Serbs to vote in return for guarantees from the UN mission.

"Kosovo Albanians must decide if they envisage a serious change of policy towards peace and stabilisation... or whether they intend to continue living within a context of violence," said the president.

This year's Christmas in Kosovo and Metohija was celebrated by Orthodox Serbs with spritual joy despite the restricted freedom and security threats. Those Serbs who managed to reach their churches attended the services under the KFOR military protection. Many believers had to travel in armoured vehicles to their parish churches, especially in Pristina (photo 2). Just before the Christmas day Dragoljub Markovic, a Serb from Kosovska Kamenica, was killed in a bomb attack. Two more bomb attacks occured in other parts of the province in which, thank God, no one was injured. These "Christmas gifts" from Albanian extremists reminded the Serb population that they are the only Christians in Europe who spend the Christmas holidays under the threat of terrorist attacks in which children, elderly and Christian churches are targeted in a Moslem dominated Kosovo province.

Photo1: Christmas play in Gracanica
Photo2: Elderly Serbs in Pristina transported to a church service in a British military vehicle
Photo3: Some of the remaining Serb children in Pristina with their guardian in front of the church of St. Nicholas just after the Christmas liturgy

Images from a night vigil at Decani Monastery
photographer Dragan Tanasijevic

Pilgrims in Decani Monastery during the Christmas Liturgy - Christ is born!

Christmas and the New Year Celebration
in Central Serbia

New face of Post-Milosevic Serbia - Democracy and tradition shape the future
of modern Serbian society

New Year's Fireworks in Belgrade, Jan 14th 2002

Serbia celebrated the Christmas in festive atmosphere. The most joyful moment was the beginning of the central midnight Christmas liturgy in the huge Cathedral of St. Savas. Dozens of bells which were installed a week ago sounded with festive chimes the melody of St. Savas hymn. His Holiness the Patriarch served the liturgy with concelebration of bishops and priests. The service was attended by thousands of Orthodox believers including the Crown Prince Alexander with his family and the highest state dignitaries. Christmas was celebrated in all diocesan cathedrals and parish churches all over Serbia and Montenegro with prayers for peace and better future in the Balkans which is still recovering from years of war and suffering. Special prayers were read for the suffering Orthodox Christians in Kosovo and Metohija where Orthodox Christians live through the most difficult times in their recent history.

Photo1: St. Sava's cathedral at midnight 24/25 Dec (Old Calendar), 6/7 January (New Calendar) - hundreds of thousands were lit around the church built on the site where Sinan Pasha burned the relics of the First Serb Archbishop - St. Sava - in 17th century.
Photo2: Patriarch Pavle serving the Christmas liturgy
Photo3: Novi Sad in festive lights - the city which lost its bridges in NATO bombing is boosting with new spirit of democracy.
Photo4: Yule-log burning in front of Royal Palace with Crown Prince and his family standing. (HRH CP Alexander, Prince Philip, Princess Catharina and Prince Alexander Jr)
Photo5: HRH Crown Prince Alexander and Princess Catharina with children's toys which they brought from Athens for the poor children in Serbia.
Photo 5: Feastal decorations in Serbian cities

Patriarch Serving the Thanksgiving Service in the main Belgrade Cathedral
after the First Holy Liturgy in the New Year 2002

Christmas lunch in Decani Monastery - KFOR officers joined the monastic trapeza

Christmas celebrated in Russia
Celebrations in the style of glorious days of Russia