Vandalism of the Church in Donje Vukovsko (BIH)

May, 3, 2019 – The orthodox church of the Annunciation, in the village Donje Vukovsko in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was burgled and vandalized in the period between the Good Friday and Easter Tuesday.

According to the news published on the website of the Dabar-Bosna Metropolinate, the oldest holy site in the Kupres Region was burgled by unknown perpetrators in the period between the Good Friday and Easter Tuesday. It was right after the Easter festivity days that the church was found devastated: all church windows were broken, while the interior of the church was completely devastated. The old icons from the altar were violently taken out and damaged, whereas other present inventory was scattered all over the church floor and broken. According to the news, no object was stolen or taken from the church, but the message left by the perpetrators, to few Serbs who returned to that region, was clear. 

Local priest, father Marko Đurić, emphasized that this was not the first time that this church was vandalized. There were many attacks on this particular church before (the window glasses would be found broken), and the last attack was in July 2018. Yet, in father Marko’s words, this was the first time that the interior of the church was damaged.

The incident was reported to the local police, which investigated the church, even though all previous incidents reported to the Kupres Police did not give any result in finding of the perpetrators and investigations are still pending. However, father Marko believes that this time the perpetrators will be found given that there were many traces found inside the church after the vandalism. 

Father Marko invited local Serbs to stay calm and forgive the perpetrators, particularly in these festive days, reminding of what Jesus Christ said: ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing’ (Luke, 23, 24).

In his official communique, Metropolitane father Hrizostom strongly condemned the vandalism, and expressed his grief for this incident. He noticed that this incident was different than previous ones the Orthodox Church witnessed in that region, and characterized it as an act of hate and “religious racism”. Serbs started to return to this part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and this church was a symbol of renewal of life therein, so Metropolitane suspected that this incident was related to their return, as well. He also noticed that all previous incidents remained unresolved, and asked those in charge of investigations when they will be finished and if there was anything done in the meantime to stop these incidents from being repeated. Metropolitane invited Municipality of Kupres, Herzeg-Bosnia Canton and Federal Institute for Cultural Monument Protection of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to take necessary steps in renovation and preservation of the vandalized church. He also invited local Serbs to join in renovation and protection of the church and church life.

Visual Testimony:

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Sources:

The official website of Dabar-Bosna Metropolitanate (Serbian Orthodox Church) –

    1. 3 May 2019, “Оскрнављена Црква Благовијести Пресвете Богородице у Доњем Вуковску”
    2. 3 May 2019,  “Митрополит Хризостом – Реаговање на Вандализам на Храму у Доњем Вуковском

 

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