by his Eminence
Metropolitan Laurus
JORDANVILLE, NY: 9/22 March 2004

STATEMENT by His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus
on the Tragic Events in Serbia

With profound pain did I receive the news on the troubles in the heart of Serbia, Kosovo, and I hasten to express my sympathy to our fraternal people, who have lost their treasured holy sites and relics, many monasteries and churches. I express my deep empathy to the relatives of those who have perished, I pray for all who have suffered and the entire Orthodox population of Serbia, whom the Lord tries with sorrows, but whom He also consoles, sending at this time such spiritual leaders of strong faith in the persons of His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of Serbia and Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren, and other staunch defenders of Orthodoxy. I pray for the strengthening of the faith of all of us Orthodox Christians, for if man firmly believes in God and trusts in Him, in His saving will, which always leads to good, then the “fear of man,” that is, false fear, vanishes, replaced with the fear of God, replaced with His peace and quietude.

I call upon our God-loving flock to pray for the suffering children of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Let us raise our fervent prayers to the Mother of God, to St. Simeon the Myrrh-Streamer, Saints Savva, Arsenije, Maxim and other heavenly protectors of the Serbs, and to St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco, who loved the Serbian Church, who in return even now remembers him dearly. Let us pray to the Lord, Wondrous in His Saints, that His peace reigns on earth, of which He told His disciples before His sufferings: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.”

+Metropolitan Laurus
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia