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Religious violence

Religious aspects of the
Yugoslavia - Kosovo conflict

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Sponsored link.

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Quotations:

bullet"...the peace negotiations between the Orthodox [Christian] Serbs, the Catholic Croats and the Muslim Bosnians had collapsed again. And there is no doubt that the religions that are so involved here had neglected in the period of more than forty years since the Second World War to engage in mourning, honestly confess the crimes which had been committed by all sides in the course of the centuries, and ask one another for mutual forgiveness....I think there can be no peace among the nations without peace among the religions!" Hans Küng and Karl-Josef Kuschel, commenting in 1993 on conflict within the former Yugoslavia. 1 Although this quotation refers to Bosnia, not Kosovo, the principle is the same: a missed opportunity in the past and religious intolerance in the present.
bullet"Ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant" (Where they create a wasteland, they call it peace.) Tacitus (historian, ancient Rome)

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Overview:

Kosovo was a province of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The main players in its recent war were the government, army and militias of Yugoslavia, NATO, and the Kosovo Liberation Army. The Presbyterian Church (USA) stated in 1999-APR that the main victims were the people of Kosovo who were murdered

"at a scale unknown in Europe since the end of World War II. These reports have become so numerous and so consistent that it is difficult not to give them credence...If, as it now appears, genocide is taking place in Kosovo, it must stop...No person in Kosovo or anywhere else should be forced to become a refugee merely because he or she belongs to one ethnic group or one religious tradition." 11

At its core, the conflict was largely a religious one:

"...religious identity has been present constantly in the antagonisms that have fragmented the Balkans for centuries - setting neighbor against neighbor, Muslims against Orthodox Christians, and Orthodox Christians against Western Christians..." 20

Precise data is impossible to obtain. The religious affiliation of the approximately 1.9 million residents of Kosovo,  includes on the order of:

bulletMuslims: 1.6  million
bulletSerbian Orthodox: 150,000
bulletRoma and Ashkali: There once numbered on the order of 150,000 people. However, many have been forced out of the country  30,31
bulletRoman Catholics: 60,000

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Was the Kosovo crisis an ethnic conflict or a religious conflict?

There have been a series of struggles for independence during the 1990's in the area once covered by the country of Yugoslavia: This series started in 1990 in Slovenia; 1991 in Croatia; 1992 in Bosnia Herzegovina. Each of these conflicts have often been described as an "ethnic conflict." In reality, the Serbs, Croats, Slovenes and Muslims in those countries share a common Slavic ethnic origin. They view themselves today as distinct peoples, largely because of their different religious heritages.

Peter Black, senior historian at the United States Holocaust Museum commented:

"In the Balkans, religious identification became part of national identity, as expressed through language and the communication of the national myth. Thus, being Orthodox is part of being Serbian." 20

In contrast, people in North America consider religion mainly as part of their personal/family identity. Because of the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment, and the separation of church and state which it specifies, Americans don't have a single faith group associated with their feelings of nationalism. As Peter Black commented "being Catholic or Orthodox or Muslim isn't part of our American identity." Canada's history is somewhat different. In the past, the French majority in Quebec had strongly identified their culture with Roman Catholicism. This largely ended in the 1960's, during the "quiet revolution" when there was a massive collapse in the influence of the Catholic church.

Unlike the rest of the former Yugoslavia, the Kosovo conflict had both ethnic and religious components. Before the recent exterminations and forced "ethnic cleansing," 90% of the population of Kosovo were ethnic Albanians. These are descendants of the ancient Illyrian tribes who occupied this area since before the Roman Empire. Their language is unrelated to all other languages in the area; they are now mainly Muslim.

So, the Kosovo conflict was fueled by differences of:

bulletEthnicity: between Serbs, of Slavic origin, and ethnic Albanians who are Illyrian in origin.
bulletReligion: between Serbs, who are almost entirely followers of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and non-Serbs, who are overwhelmingly followers of Islam, and Roman Catholicism. There is also a minority of ethnic Albanians who follow the Albanian Orthodox Church. However, there would be no significant friction, on religious grounds, between Albanian and Serbian Orthodoxy.

As in all conflicts involving ethnicity, religion, national aspirations, economics, etc., there was no single cause of the Kosovo war. However, in our opinion, it is not much of an over-simplification to view the war in Kosovo as largely a religious conflict between:

bulletSerbs who overwhelmingly belong to the Serbian Orthodox Church,
bulletEthnic Albanians who are mainly Muslims, and
bulletA Roman Catholic minority.

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Current religious/ethnic makeup of the former Yugoslavia:

The data below shows how closely the ethnic division in each country matches the religious distribution:

Republic of Slovenia:

bullet1.97 million;
bullet96% Roman Catholic, 1% Muslim, 3% other.
bullet91% Slovene; 3% Croat

Republic of Croatia:

bullet4.67 million
bullet77% Roman Catholic; 11% Serbian Orthodox
bullet78% Croat,12% Serbian

Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina:

bullet3.36 million
bullet40% Muslim, 31% Serbian Orthodox, 15% Roman Catholic
bullet40% Serbian, 38% Muslim,  22% Croat

Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (including Kosovo, and its refugees):

bullet11.21 million
bullet65% Serbian Orthodox, 19% Muslim, 4% Roman Catholic, 1% Protestant, 11% other
bullet63% Serbian, 14% Albanian 6% Montenegrin, 4% Hungarian, 13% other

Kosovo:

bullet1.89 million
bullet81% Muslims, 10% Serbian Orthodox, 9% Roman Catholics 
bullet90% Albanians, 10% Serbs, 3% Roma (Gypsies), 1.5% Turks

The above data is believed to be accurate in late 1998. The percentage of Serbs left in the province as of 1999-JUL is probably slightly under 5%.

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM):

bullet2.01 million
bullet67% Eastern Orthodox, 30% Muslim
bullet65% Macedonian, 22% Albanian

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A brief recent history of Yugoslavia:

Over the past millennium, Yugoslavia straddled the borders of three faith groups: Islam, Orthodox Christianity, and Roman Catholicism. An essay is available which describes the history of Yugoslavia and surrounding area. 

Massive atrocities were committed during World War II by the Ustaša regime, the Independent State of Croatia. It was established in power by the German Nazis during World War II. Up to a million Serbs, Jews, Roma, Muslims, Communists and other non-Catholics were exterminated by the state. The fascists' goals were to convert Croatia into a pure Croatian and Roman Catholic independent country. Memories of this genocide were a major cause of the recent violence.

During the Communist dictatorship of Yugoslavia after World War II, Tito angered the Serbs by granting autonomy to the northeastern province of Vojvodina and the southern province of Kosovo in 1974.

Yugoslavia had been gradually disintegrating since the death of Tito. The country lost much of its territory and population during the 1990's as Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina achieved independence. As of 1999-JUL, Yugoslavia consisted of only four provinces: Vojvodina, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo. Montenegro had a large degree of local autonomy.

A poorly-equipped militia in Kosovo, the Kosovo Liberation Army, actively fought for independence from the Yugoslavian government. They were considered by the Albanians in Kosovo to be freedom fighters; the Serbs view them as simple terrorists.

The battle was not simply between the Yugoslav army and Kosovo citizens in the KLA. Yugoslav militias were active. Many of the KLA fighters are from the adjacent country of Albania. Some believe that soldiers have come from other countries as well:

bulletAccording to Catholic World News, "most of the army's strength has come from abroad - primarily from Albania, but also from Yemen and Saudi Arabia." 15
bulletOne source reports that some mercenaries from Russia had joined the Serb forces.

A "contact group,"  consisting of U.S. and many European countries, brokered the Rambouillet Peace Accord for Kosovo. It was unsatisfactory to both sides:

bulletThe Serbs objected to giving Kosovo autonomy, and to allowing NATO troops to enter the province and maintain peace.
bulletThe ethnic Albanians in Kosovo objected to the accord because it did not grant them full independence.

The representatives of the KLA signed the peace accord, after considerable pressure. The government of Yugoslavia refused to sign the agreement.

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NATO bombing:

NATO attacked Yugoslavia with air power in an attempt to force the Yugoslav government to accept the agreement. By early 1999-APR, the goal of NATO appeared to shift to the attaining of full independence for Kosovo. Widespread assaults, ethnic cleansing, rapes and murders of ethnic Albanian civilians by the Serbian army and militia, which had started long before NATO bombing began, accelerated. Hundreds of thousands were forced to flee the province to prevent being exterminated. It probably became impossible for the Muslim population of Kosovo to accept any form of future association with the Yugoslavian government. Full independence was the only feasible ultimate option.

Following a multi-century tradition in the area, the Government of Yugoslavia proposed a cease fire during the week of 1999-APR-4, to extend over the Eastern Orthodox celebration of Easter on APR-11. A small group of Orthodox Christians in the U.S. took out a full-page ad in the New York Times which urged a temporary bombing cease-fire over Easter. Although the bombing was reduced temporarily, a complete cessation was rejected by NATO. This decision had a profound psychological and spiritual impact on the Serbians. "...by bombing the Serbs during the Orthodox Easter--just as the Nazis did in 1941-- [NATO]... played into a view held by some Serbs that NATO is a force of Western Christianity attempting to crush the Eastern Orthodox underdog." As Father Alex Karloutsos, an Orthodox priest in New York, said: "It really comes down to a war between Eastern and Western Christianity.

NATO was ultimately successful in 1999-JUN in reaching an agreement with the Yugoslav government to:

bulletWithdraw its Serb troops, militias, police and secret police;
bulletAllow a NATO-led peacekeeping force to enter Kosovo and
bulletTo allow the ethnic Albanians to return to their homeland.

This seems to have induced many among the small minority of Serbian residents in Kosovo to leave the province, out of fear for their lives.

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The Serbians' tie with Kosovo:

There is great, largely untapped, mineral wealth in Kosovo. But that is not the main motivation for the present conflict. Kosovo is "the crucible in which Serb nationalism was forged in a famous battle fought more than 600 years ago...its memory has been kept alive by Serb nationalists down the centuries." 3 It is a type of holy land. Many historic Serbian Orthodox Christian churches, monasteries and gravesites are located there.

Kosovo is valued by the Serbs much as:

bulletJerusalem is by the Palestinians;
bulletJerusalem and Masada are by the Jews
bulletBunker Hill, Independence Hall and Arlington Cemetery are by Americans.

The Rev. Blastko Taraklis, "a Serbian Orthodox priest in Mission Viejo who keeps in close touch with the monks and nuns at the ancient Decani monastery in Kosovo" said "We cannot give up Kosovo, because it is the Serbian Jerusalem. The birthright of the Serbian Orthodox Church is in Kosovo and must remain there as part of Serbia."

Carl Raschke, a religious studies professor from the University of Denver, commented: "Kosovo is the detonator for all the passions, paranoia, fears and fight-to-the-death romanticism that has been a force in the Serb consciousness for centuries." 3 According to Raschke, the Serbs looked upon the present conflict over Kosovo as "a kind of final battle for their national identity...The Serbs are likely to let the country be destroyed before they give it up." Dennis Sandole of George Mason University in Virginia disagrees. He commented that if Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic "...lets the bombing go on too long, the people could come to associate him with the destruction of the nation. Then he might find himself hanging from the nearest lamp-post."

Following the occupation of Kosovo by NATO and a small number of Russian peacekeepers, popular opposition to the Milosevic regime in Serbia became organized. The U.S. CIA became involved in de-stabilizing the government of Yugoslavia. The regime was ultimately overthrown.

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Did the Serbs commit genocide?

Civilian populations are increasingly being targeted during recent civil wars. However, atrocities must match certain specific criteria before they are considered genocide. The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide defines genocide as:

"... certain acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group as such. The proscribed acts include killings, causing serious bodily or mental harm, imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group, forcibly transferring its children to another group, or deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its destruction in whole or in part." 4

Ethnic cleansing in Bosnia during the mid 1990s started as mass expulsions of civilians. It escalated to include internment in concentration camps, mass executions, rapes, etc. There was a clear policy by the Serbs "to exterminate Muslim Bosnians as a group..." 4 Their actions were generally considered to be genocide. There is a general consensus that widespread atrocities were also committed by the Muslims and the Croats (largely Roman Catholic). But the level of their war crimes did not reach genocidal proportions.

There have been allegations that the Serbs were also engaged in genocide in Kosovo before and during the NATO bombing. Media correspondents and human rights investigators conducted large-scale interviews of Kosovar refugees. The data collected show that the Geneva Conventions concerning civilians had been ignored and that extremely serious war crimes were perpetrated by the Yugoslavian army, police and militias. There appeared to be a consensus of human rights investigators that the quantity and type of documented atrocities proved that genocide had been committed by the Yugoslavian government against the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. This belief was confirmed as the NATO forces occupied Kosovo. Mass graves were located and were systematically examined by forensic specialists. Ethnic Albainians came out of hiding with horrendous stories to tell. In excess of 11,000 murders were reported to authorities. According to a report by the U.N.'s chief prosecutor in Yugoslavia, Carla Del Ponte, on 1999-NOV-10, 2,108 complete corpses  and an unknown but large number of incomplete bodies were found.  29

There certainly were mass crimes against humanity in Kosovo. Whether the situation would qualify for the term "genocide" depends on one's precise definition of the term.

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Religious comments about the war in Kosovo:

Christians were divided over how to resolve the conflict. Some Evangelicals, other Protestants and Roman Catholics support edthe bombing as the only way to eventually bring peace. Many Orthodox Christian leaders supported the Serbian Orthodox church in asking for a cease fire. Many faith groups concentrated on the plight of the refugees, and did not taking an active position on the war itself. The secular peace movement was relatively quiet.

bullet1998-MAY-19: Pax Christi is a Roman Catholic peace movement. Its Italian branch called for international action in Kosovo. "A temporary solution of one or two decades, would provide the immediate opportunity for increased economic cooperation with and political integration into the international community. It would enable the parties to build common ground for a final solution." 15
bullet1999-MAR: A number of Roman Catholic, Serbian Orthodox, and Muslim religious leaders met in Vienna in an attempt to forge a united stance against violence. Father Leonid Kishovsky is an Orthodox priest from New York who was present at the meeting. He reported "It was a very tense and challenging conversation that nearly broke down. But they did manage to walk through this very painful dialogue and came up with a common statement to step away from...violence and and seek a democratic solution." 20
bullet1999-APR-3: Word leaked out that the Yugoslav president, Slobodan Milosevic, was on a sealed list of war criminals drawn up by the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
bullet1999-APR-9: The Albanian Encouragement Project is a group of about 70 foreign Evangelical Protestant agencies working with the local Albanian Evangelical Alliance. Spokesperson Doug Mann believed that the immediate solution was to bring NATO ground troops into Kosovo. They felt that the long range solution is more difficult. "We can set up borders, we can guard borders with UN troops and maintain a semblance of peace, but until hearts change and ethnic hatred ceases there is no long-term solution."   14
bullet1999-APR-13: Charles Colson, head of the Prison Fellowship ministry in the U.S. criticized NATO's refusal to agree to a cease-fire requested by the Serb President, Slobodan Milosevic during the Orthodox Christian Easter. "NATO's actions show how completely tone-deaf Western governing elites have become on the subject of religion -- or at least Christianity." Colson contrasted the Kosovo situation with that of the 1998 decision to cease bombing in Iraq during Ramadan. 12,13
bullet1999-APR-14: Many Orthodox Christian leaders called for a cease-fire in Kosovo: 14
bulletThe Commission of the Orthodox Church predicted that further escalation of the war may have "unforeseeable, terrible consequences." They noted that both Evangelical and Roman Catholic leaders in Germany have supported the bombing in Kosovo.
bulletArchbishop Spyridon, primate of the Greek Orthodox church in America said: "The further escalation of this conflict can only serve to exacerbate the human tragedy of violence, displacement and the inevitable hatreds that will be spawned by the forces of death and destruction."
bulletIn a joint effort, the World Council of Churches, the Conference of European Churches, the Lutheran World Federation and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches called on Christians and Christian Churches to observe an international day of prayer on 1999-MAY-16 for peace and reconciliation in the Balkans. 24 These four groups had the opportunity to make a major positive contribution to religious tolerance by involving other than Protestant Christian groups in this day of prayer. Unfortunately, they decided to not involve the three main religious groups that are at least partly responsible for the terror and crisis in the Balkans: the Serbian Orthodox Church, Roman Catholic Church, and Islam.
bullet1999-MAY-27: Yugoslav President Slobodon Milosevic and four others were indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). This is the first time a sitting head of state had been formally accused of crimes against humanity. 26
bullet1999-JUN-9: An agreement was reached between NATO and Yugoslav military leaders. The bombing was suspended. This lead to the replacement of Yugoslav forces from Kosovo with international peacekeepers and the return of ethnic Albanian refugees. Two less obvious results of the agreement were:
bulletThe departure into Serbia of many of the Serbs who had been living in Kosovo, and 
bulletAn unknown number of ethnic Albainian hostages were taken by Yugoslav forces from Kosovo to Serbia.
bullet1999-JUN-11: CNN reported that there were about "860,000 refugees" who had fled Kosovo. "The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has estimated that at least 350,000 houses in Kosovo have been seriously damaged. The U.N. Children's Fund says massive damage was inflicted on hospitals, clinics and schools, and that doctors, nurses and teachers are in severely short supply." 33
bullet1999-JUN-16: Leaders of the Serbian Orthodox Church asked for the resignation of President Slobodan Milosevic and his government. They wanted a new President and government that is acceptable to the world community.
bullet1999-OCT: By this time, 76 Serbian Orthodox shrines and churches had been destroyed or desecrated in Kosovo. 32
bullet2000-OCT: Milosevic suffered an electoral defeat . His regime was overthrown.
bullet2001-APR-1: Milosevic was arrested. He was later transported to the Hague to be tried by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia as a war criminal.
bullet2002-JAN-30: Milosevic's trial began.
bullet2004-MAR-17 to 19: Three Serbian children drowned accidentally in Kosovo. A rumor spread that they had been chased into a river by four Albanian children. The rumor was false. In spite of a statement from the U.N. Mission that no Albanians were involved, tens of thousands of Albanians attacked Serbs and Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries. There are strong indications that the attack was carefully planned in advance. Fourteen religious structures were totally destroyed; some dated back to the 12th century. The National Review described it as "Kristallnacht in Kosovo" -- a reference to the massive Nazi attack on Jewish property in Germany and Austria on 1938-NOV-9 to 10. 36
bullet2005-MAR-12: Slobodan Milosevic died of an apparent heart attack during 2006-MAR while in prison near the end of his four year trial on multiple counts crimes against humanity.
bullet2005-MAR-14: The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) wrote:

"....it is now more than ever crucial that the international community bring other indicted war criminals to justice in order to bring about a much-needed process of truth and reconciliation....The European Union has given the Serbian government until April to hand over Ratko Mladic, military leader of the Bosnian Serbs during the 1992-95 war, who is accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and other war crimes for the siege of Sarajevo and the massacre of thousands of Muslim men and boys around Srebrenica in July 1995. The Bosnian Serbs' wartime political leader, Radovan Karadic, also has yet to surrender to the Hague tribunal. Both men have been fugitives for more than 10 years. Capturing and trying Mladic and Karadic should be an immediate priority of the international community in order to deliver long overdue justice that is crucial in order to begin the heal the scars faced by those who witnessed the Balkan genocide firsthand." 35

Yahoo! News maintains full coverage of the Kosovo aftermath. 27

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The situation as of early 2006:

Kosovo has been under United Nations administration since 1999, when NATO drove out Yugoslav troops. The United National Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) reported that on 2006-FEB-22, the first round of direct negotiations between delegations from Kosovo and Serbia were concluded with some progress having been made over the future status of Kosovo.

UNMIK reported on 2006-MAR-06:

"Independence and autonomy are among options that have been mentioned for the province, where Albanians outnumber Serbs and others by 9 to 1. Serbia rejects independence. Kosovo’s Serbs have been boycotting the province’s provisional institutions."

"[UN Special Envoy Martti] Ahtisaari confirmed that another meeting on decentralization would be held in the Austrian capital on 17 March, focusing on local financing and inter-municipal cooperation and relationships, adding that he was using 'a bottom-up approach,' in other words starting the process by dealing with practical and 'status-neutral' issues."

" 'Apart from decentralization, we will run parallel discussions on cultural and religious heritage, minority rights and economy', he said."

"He appealed to Serbian leaders to encourage Kosovo Serb leaders to participate in the province’s institutions. 'If you people don’t participate, it will be very difficult for any administration to create conditions where people can live together,' he told them during his visit to the province. 34

In theory, Kosovo remains a province of Serbia. However, with the area occupied by NATO peacekeepers, and administered by the United Nations, the term "province" is almost meaningless. There is strong support among the Muslim majority for complete independence. KosovoNews commented on 2006-MAR-1:

"British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said that Kosovo's movement towards independence is 'almost inevitable,' and said Serbia may have to accept that reality."

However, the Serbian Orthodox minority generally refuses to acknowledge independence as an option. Withdrawal of NATO troops, political independence for Kosovo, and long-term peace and stability may well take decades to accomplish.

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Kosovo declares independence:

On 2008-FEB-17, Kosovo's parliament gave unanimous approval to a unilateral declaration of independence. Prime Minister Hashim Thaci declared Kosovo to be "proud, independent and free."  He described it also as "democratic, secular and multi-cultural." Serbia has instructed Serbs in Kosovo to reject succession, and has enacted countermeasures against the new state. The U.S., Canada, and most European countries are expected to recognize Kosovo's independence.

Russia opposes the development, probably for two reasons: it might motivate independence-minded movements in their country to demand independence. Also Russia and Serbia are linked by a common Orthodox Christian faith.

Iran has announced its opposition, perhaps because Kosovo is a predominately Muslim state that intends to be secular.

Serbian Orthodox Bishop Artemije, head of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo called for violence. He said:

"Serbia should buy stare-of-the=art weapons from Russia and other countries and call on Russia to send volunteers and establish a military presence in Serbia."

For the immediate future, Kosovo will be under the control of UN administrators and 16,000 NATO troops. Control will transition to a 1,800 member European Union-led mission by mid 2008. 37,38

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Related essays:

bulletReligious aspects of the Yugoslavia-Vojodina conflict
bulletBrief history of Yugoslavia and surrounding area
bulletReligiously-based civil unrest and warfare - worldwide

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Hans Küng and Karl-Josef Kuschel, "A Global Ethic: The Declaration of the Parliament of the World's Religions", pp. 43-44)
  2. "Yugoslavia under attack," The Toronto Star, 1999-MAR-26, Page A18.
  3. Bill Schiller, "Serb nationalism forged on a Kosovo battlefield," The Toronto Star, 1999-MAR-26, Page A18.
  4. "Both NATO and Yugoslavia must be judged by international law," Human Rights Watch, news release, 1999-APR-6.
  5. James Hooper, "Albanians feel betrayed by Americans," Current History, 1999-APR.
  6. "The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 1999," World Almanac Books, (1998)
  7. "The 1998 Canadian Global Almanac," Macmillan, (1997)
  8. "Making the Treaty Work: International Criminal Court Ratification Campaign," Human Rights Watch, at: http://www.hrw.org/hrw/campaigns/icc/icc-main.htm
  9. Human Rights Watch covers the Kosovo crisis from a humanitarian viewpoint at: http://www.hrw.org/
  10. "American Red Cross: supporting the International Response to Kosovo Refugees," at: http://www.redcross.org/news/inthnews/99/4-2b-99.html
    You can make a donation by phoning 1-800-HELP-NOW from anywhere in North America. You can send donations to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013. You can make secure online credit card donations via: http://www.redcross.org/donate/donate-now.html
  11. "A Letter to the Church on the Kosovo Crisis," Presbyterian Church (USA), 1999-APR-14.
  12. Religion Today news summary, 1999-APR-14
  13. Breakpoint archives at: http://www.icrn.com/BreakPoint/
  14. Newsroom at: http://www.newsroom.org/
  15. "Catholic peace group calls for prompt action to avert wider conflict in Kosovo," Catholic World News, 1998-MAY-20
  16. Josip Stilinovic, "Kosovo conflict now a full-scale war," Catholic World News, 1998-JUL-28
  17. "World Report 1998, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Human Rights Developments" at: http://www.hrw.org/hrw/worldreport/Helsinki-12.htm
  18. "World Report 1999, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Human Rights Developments," at: http://www.hrw.org/hrw/worldreport99/europe/
  19. News of the Kosovo crisis, updated daily, can be found at Kosova Info: http://www.kosovainfo.com/ENGLISH.htm   Although written from a pro-LDK stance, most of the articles are reprints from American, UN and human rights sources.
  20. A.J. Rubin, "Religious Identity at the Heart of Balkan War," LA Times, at: http://www.latimes.com/excite/990418/t000034939.html
  21. "Latimes.com special reports: Nato Crisis in Yugoslavia" at: http://www.latimes.com/HOME/NEWS/REPORTS/YUGO/ The site has "hourly updates, all [LA] Times stories since NATO launched its attack, video clips, information on how to help the refugees, a primer on the conflict and access to our discussion group."
  22. "Radio B92 Banned," concerns an independent Serbian radio station from Belgrade, Yugoslavia. It promoted peace, democracy and reconciliation. It was closed down by the Yugoslavian government. But it was reborn on the Internet. See: http://www.b92.org.
  23. An online data base of Kosovan refugees is available at: http://www.refugjat.org/ They hope to help reunite displaced refugees who have lost track of each other.
  24. J. Van Marter, "World Christian bodies call for Day of Prayer for the Balkans," PCUSA News release, #99186, 1999-MAY-13.
  25. "Elderly Serb civilian brutally beaten by KLA soldiers," Kosovo Human Rights Flash #47, Human Rights Watch, 1999-JUN-18.
  26. "Focus: The indictment of Slobodan Milosevic," at: http://www.usia.gov/regional/eur/balkans/kosovo/
  27. "Full world coverage: Kosovo aftermath," Yahoo news, at: http://headlines.yahoo.com/FC/World/Kosovo/
  28. "Kosovo in Pictures," Human Rights Watch, at: http://www.hrw.org/hrw/campaigns/kosovo98/photo.shtml
  29. "Mass graves in Kosovo yield 2,100 bodies," Reuters-AP, 1999-NOV-10. 
  30. "Religion in Kosovo," 2002-JAN-31, at: http://www.crisisweb.org/projects/balkans/ This is a PDF fle. You need software to read these files. It can be obtained free from:
  31. Tilman Zülch, "Until the Very Last 'Gypsy' Has Fled the Country: The Mass Expulsion of Roma and Ashkali from Kosovo,"  at: http://www.gfbv.de/gfbv_e/docus/roma2_e.htm
  32. "Catalog of Destroyed and Desecrated Churches," at: http://www.kosovo.com/crucified/
  33. John Christensen, "Kosovo refugees getting ready to pick up the pieces," 1999-JUN-11, at: http://www.cnn.com/
  34. "UN envoy urges Serbia, Kosovo leaders to stay engaged in status talks," UNMIK, 2006-MAR-03, at: http://www.unmikonline.org/
  35. "After Milosevic, other war criminals must be captured and tried," MPAC News, 2006-MAR-14, at: http://app.e2ma.net/
  36. Damjan de Krnjevic-Miskovic, "Kristallnacht in Kosovo: The burning of churches raises questions about independence," National Review, 2004-MAR-19, at: http://www.nationalreview.com/
  37. "Raising flags of freedom," The Toronto Star, 2008-FEB-18, Page AA1 & AA4, at: http://www.thestar.com/
  38. Rory Watson, "Serbs vent anger at Kosovo independence declaration," Times Online, 2008-FEB-18, at: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/

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Books on Kosovo, the Serbs and Albanians:

bulletMiranda Vickers, "Between Serb and Albanian: A History of Kosovo," Columbia University Press (1998). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store The reviews are quite interesting; readers seem to be wildly enthusiastic or totally condemning, depending upon their political views.
bulletNoel Malcolm, "Kosovo: A Short History," New York University Press, (1998). Review/order this book
bulletHuman Rights Watch, "Kosovo: Open Wounds," Order this book
bulletHelsinki Watch Committee, "Yugoslavia: Crisis in Kosovo," Order this book
bulletJohn Eilkes, et. al., "The Illyrians (The Peoples of Europe series)," Blackwell Publ., (1992) Order this book

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Copyright © 1999 to 2007 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally published: 1999-APR-7
Latest update: 2007-AUG-08
Author: B.A. Robinson

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