Protocol No. 20 from 12 January 2004

On occasion the latest events which have confirmed, for countless times now, the violation of the human rights and religious freedom in the Republic of Macedonia, of which, undoubtedly, the democratic European public has already been informed, and will be additionally informed, the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric issues the following:

On 11 January 2004, after the celebration of the Divine Liturgy in the chapel of the Resurrection of Christ, the police carried out a search looking for armed weapons. We do not know why the MIA (Ministry of Internal Affairs) did not inform the public that they found no such thing, even though there are two signed witnesses in the record. After the search, the police took into custody the two bishops and all of the monks and nuns, and, with no explanation, kept us in the police station for thirty hours in miserable conditions. After the thirty-hour-long confinement we were released with a charge that by celebrating the liturgy (and we have been doing this without any problems for a year and a half) we have disturbed the public peace and order. His Eminence, the Metropolitan of Veles and Povardarje and exarch of Ohrid kyr kyr John was sentenced to a pretrial detention of 30 days. Our spiritual father and fervent prayer before God has our full support and we will never give up the truth, for the truth is Christ, and we will never let the schismatic organisation defeat the pastor and make the sheep flee. With all this, the so-called MOC has shown that it is not a mother, but rather a step-mother who executes the monks, and through its requested police intervention, it does the same not only to them but, also, to the entire Macedonian people and the state as well, sacrificing them for the sake of the seven spiritual invalids who sit in the schismatic synod of the MOC. And we all well know that the people leave the last penny of their workers’ salaries in the temples which have turned into nothing but a private business of the schismatic hierarchy of the MOC, which uses these means to drive expensive cars, to live a life of luxury and to subdue the diaspora, acting as actual anti-Macedonian. We are certain that such behaviour, which is anything but 'parental', will cause not only other monasteries and monks to join, but also many of clergymen.

This is the reason why the believing people are determined to support the canonical hierarchy of the Ohrid Archbishopric and defend the monasteries from the barbarism of the schismatic organization of the MOC.

With reference to the above-indicated, as reasoning beings we are prepared, instead of the primitivism demonstrated through the torment from the schismatic MOC, to come to the truth in a polite and civilized manner by the means of a TV tribune with any of the bishops of the schismatic MOC.

From the office of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric