Father Nektarios Serfes - Orthodox Spirituality  Last Modified March 25 2002

The New Martyrs of the 20th Centery, in Kosovo
The New Martyrs
of the 20th Centery, in Kosovo

Holy New Martyrs Of Serbia
In the 1990's
In the region of Kosovo, Serbia

New Hiromartyr Stefan (Puric) of Kosovo,Serbia (1999)

New Hieromartyr Hariton (Lukic) of Kosovo, Serbia (1999)

New Martyrs Of 20th Century
Of The Serbian Orthodox Church In The 1990's

By Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
Boise, Idaho
March 22 2002

Commemoration on June 28th for the The Serbian New-martyrs
Troparion Tone 8

For your faith in God and His Righteousness, you suffered in the flesh.
The earth sorrows, but you have saved your souls and heaven rejoices!
And your ancestors sang aloud with the heaven greeting you at the gate
Of paradise with this song: your names are in the Book of Eternity.
Enter into Paradise O children of immortality! We your posterity
On earth, cry out in unison: O New-martyrs, pray for us!

Blessed is the Lord:
Humbly I am addressing you about most previously of the New Martyrs of the 20th century in Serbia, within the region of Kosovo, especially the martyrdom of two Hieromartyrs (monastic priest) that took place 1990's in the Serbian Orthodox Church, in the region of Kosovo.

The crowing of a these holy New Martyrs of Serbia in this report is not the first time the Serbian Orthodox Christians in Serbia, have witnessed martyrs. More then 750,000 Orthodox Serbian Orthodox Christians gave their lives in the defense of the faith during the time of both World War I, and World War II, at the end of this text I present you some of these accounts.

We are all witnessing in our times Orthodox Christian martyrs as of most recent, and who come forth as loving souls who simply loved God, and His Church the Holy Orthodox Faith. At the same time we have been humbly blessed ourselves to have been made worthy to see people who made a loving sacrifice for Christ our Lord, and for us all, even among the monastic of the Orthodox Church, whose life was prayer, and in sharing that prayer with their brotherhoods, as well as reaching out to help others also find hope and their path towards their salvation. These great pilgrims in Christ, where simply advocates of piety, and yet in the end found true spiritual victory, as if each one was crowned no longer with thorns, but received a greater crown among us, and in the Kingdom of our Lord God, who are now among the saints, and the martyrs.

From my website I also want to bring to your attention of more information about the martyrdom in the Orthodox Church as well in the 20th century, in which we find millions of loving souls who where martyred and persecuted for the Holy Orthodox faith we all love. Click here for more information.

Before I present to you about this information about these Holy New Martyrs of Serbia, I would like to share with you some writings from the holy Fathers on Martyrdom:

"Having eagerly and with great patience suffered, they are now magnified unto the ages. For we all must laud with songs of praise the struggles of the saints, because with a courageous spirit they have striven to implore God's mercy shedding their blood to cleanse us all. As mild, forgiving, chaste, pure lambs suffering themselves up as a burnt offering for us…, and offering their souls as pleasing, fragrant sacrifice to God" - Venerable St. Ephraim of Syria

"The death of martyrs is encouragement to the faithful, daring of the Church, confirmation of Christianity, destruction of death, proof of the Resurrection, mocking at demons, condemnation of the devil, teaching of true wisdom and a pious way of life, instillation of disdain for present material benefits and path of striving for the good to come, comfort in the face of the misfortunes which befall us, and inducements to patience, instruction in courage, the root and fount and mother of all blessings… The blood of martyrs nourishes the Church much more than the moisture of dew brings gardens into bloom" - Holy Hierarch St. John Chrysostomos

Finally let me humbly share with you what St. John of Kronstadt wrote about the martyrs:

"Ought not the Christian, who looks for eternal peace and joy in heaven, to bear courageously and joyfully all sorrows, labor, sickness, injustice, everything unpleasant, here? Indeed he ought. Otherwise, what would be the meaning of future rest and peace? What peace and rest shall there be for him who has already had his peace and rest here, without enduring anything? Were would God's justice be? We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God" - St. John of Kronstadt, "My Life In Christ".

A Brief Account Of The Martyrdom Of The Holy New Hieromartyr Hariton (Lukic) of Serbia
Kidnapped on June 14th, 1999
Body found August 2000

Father Chariton (also spelled Hariton) was a monk in the Holy Archangels Monastery near Prizren. He was born on November 21, 1960 in central Serbia and became a monk in Kosovo in 1995. Father Chariton was kidnapped by armed persons wearing UCK (KLA) forms and insignia on June 16 in the streets of Prizren. In the time of his disappearance the German KFOR troops have already entered Prizren area. Unfortunately they were followed by armed gangs of UCK extremists who have killed and kidnapped a dozen of Serbs in the city during the first days.

The body of Fr. Chariton was found near Prizren on August 8th, 2000. They body was decapitated and severely mutilated. The head of Fr. Chariton has not yet been found. (Editors notes: Father Chariton's burial service took place without his head).

According to the forensic report the remains of Fr. Hariton was found in an unmarked individual grave in the cemetery of the Albanian village of Tusus near Prizren. These are many evidences that the body was left in open air after the murder because only skeleton remains. Several ribs are found broken as well as the left hand. The head and a few vertebrae are missing. The body was found dressed in the clothes displayed. The sweater is found cut in the front side which might suggest that Father Hariton's belly was ripped. The holes around the area of heart are found which also might suggest that he was stabbed by knife. In any case it was a painful death. With his clothes the investigators have found his ID and his praying rope. All evidence and the forensic report have already been handed over to ICTY investigators who will proceed the investigation of this crime. (1)

A Brief Account Of The Martyrdom of Holy New Hieromartyr Stefan (Puric) Of Serbia
Abducted on July 19, 1999
Body whereabouts unknown

Beside Father Chariton (Hariton) one more cleric was abducted by the armed UCK rebels. This is Father Stephen (Stefan), a priest-monk in Budisavci Monastery near Klina. He was abducted on July 19, 1999 and since then nothing is known about him. According to unconfirmed information from the Albanian side Fr. Stephen was murdered and his body as thrown in an empty well and covered with carcasses of animals. (2)

Let me as well bring to your humble attention about the holy New Martyrs of Serbia, during the Second World War. During this war was the first holy New Martyr was the Hierarch Vladimir, who was bishop of Raska and Prizren, just as similar to the first holy New Martyr of Russia, in the 20th century was Hierarch Metropolitan Vladimir of Mosocw.

More then 10,000 Orthodox Christians in Kosovo where killed, and numerous churches destroyed during the Second War, in which where exposed to murders and terror by the Albanian extremists and nationalist. This list also includes dozens of priest, but also monks, as well as included the Bishop of Raska and Prizren Holy Hierarch (Bishop) Vladimir, who was sent to prison in Albania and killed in prison. (3)

Then again we had a holy New Martyr from the Decani Monastery which is located in Kosovo, which took place during the Second World War.

The Holy New Martyr Archdeacon Gavrilo (Gabriel) From The Decani Moanstery
Martyred After The Second World War

Then again we have the Holy New Martyr Archdeacon Gavrilo (Gabriel) from the Decani Monastery, who was martyred after the Second World War, and was tortured in prison in Pec. The communist authorities at that time sentenced him as a traitor and he was sent to the infamous Sremska Mitrovica prison, near Belgrade where he died in most humiliating conditions. The Archdeacons only sin was the openly resisted the new post-war ungodly rulers who launched persecutions against the Serbian Orthodox Church which he was branded as a reactionary and anti-revolutionary force and had to disappear in a new communist society. (4)*

For a more in depth study of the Serbia's New Martyrs during World War II please visit On the Serbian Orthodox New Martyrs of the Second World War. Sources and photos for numbers: 1-4 http://www.decani.yunet.com/hariton.htm1

Thanks to our Lord God, the Sobor of bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Serbia was able to canonize and glorify a number of new martyrs in May 1998, not more then one year before the war in Serbia.

Hieromarytr Platon, Bishop of Banja Luka
Hieromartyr Sava, Bishop of Gorno-Karlovats
Priest-martyr Branko (Dobrosavlevic)
Priest-martyr George (Bogic)
Pray to God for us!

Holy New Martyrs Of Serbia,
Pray To God For Us!

Glory Be To God For All Things!

Content written/compiled by Father Nektarios Serfes.
(c) Father Nektarios Serfes