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29. August 2016
On 28 August 2016, according to news agencies, the Albanians, mostly residents of Musutiste, blocked the road that leads to a ruined church of the Mother of God Hodigetria, on which foundations the displaced Serbs wanted to attend the Liturgy on the occasion of the feast day of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos that morning.
Protesters carried Albanian flags and shouted slogans “UÇK, UÇK” (KLA-Kosovo Liberation Army). The Albanians from Musutiste through social networks previous days had called upon their compatriots from Suva Reka and nearby villages to prevent the arrival of the Serbs to Musutiste. About 150 displaced Serbs, among whom there were also children, were in three buses and waited for safe conditions to continue their trip to Musutiste.
As agencies reported, around 12 o`clock the buses with the Serbs returned from Suva Reka and went to the monastery of Zociste near Orahovac where the feast-day rite was performed. During the clash of police and Albanians, several policemen and Albanian extremists were injured, whereas about twenty of them were arrested. Gathered Albanians retreated along the road, but they prepared piles of stones and threw them at the members of the special police force.
Mušutište is one of the largest villages in Kosovo and Metohija and is located on the slopes of the Sara-mountain, on the northwest of the Prizren Valley. Churches in Musutiste, of which there were eleven, in cultural, historical and religious terms, for centuries have represented a stronghold of the Orthodox Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija.
In June 1999 the Monastery of Holy Trinity in Musutiste was looted by Albanians, and in July of the same year they blew it up. The fire after the explosion destroyed all buildings in the church courtyard and ancient monastic manuscripts, which had been kept for centuries there. Also the church of the Holy Theotokos Hodigetria was plundered and desecrated by local Albanians. Priest’s home and a parish house were looted and set on fire, and the church was blown up and burnt. After the arrival of the German forces of the KFOR in 1999, also the church of Holy Archangel Michael was looted and partly demolished.
In Musutiste there are two churches dedicated to Saint Nicholas as well as churches of Saint Athanasius, Saint George, Saint Petka and Saint Christ the Saviour. The church of Saint Simeon was located between the Crna reka (Black River) and the Delovac River.
In Carevac there was one more church, while high in the mountain above Musutiste, in Rusenicka Gora, there are hermitages Matos and Rusenica. These hermitages are also known as the Matos Caves. They are located in the cliffs of the rocks higher than 60 meters, and there are eight of them.
We remind that similar attacks on the Serbs in Musutiste have happened earlier as well.
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