Shame On You, Shameful and Defeated Serbia - A blog by Bojan Jovanovic
At this doorstep of Christian suffering that Good Friday represents, at this doorstep of Christian joy that Easter, the resurrection of Christ, brings it is fitting to be reminded that it is up to us all to contribute to the end of sexual violence, abuse and assault against children and young people. And when it comes to ending such abuse and suffering brought upon by members of the clergy and Church hierarchies, by the Church, then indeed Christians especially are morally and otherwise duty bound to assist in rooting out such evil from the temples of God on earth.
And then, when a state or its government and government politics are one with the Church, such as Serbia is and has been with the Serbian Orthodox Church, then it gives me great satisfaction to relay here that this year, 2022, a representative from a Balkan country is reportedly for the first time in history of the global fight for justice for children and young people sexually abused and violated by a Church invited to speak at the Brave Movement’s Global Survivors Action Summit to be held on 27 April 2022. The invitee is from Serbia, Mr Bojan Jovanovic, a former deacon of the Serbian Orthodox Church who has for some time now been fighting for justice for victims of sexually abused children and young people within the Serbian Orthodox Church.
As an overture for the above Summit Mr Jovanovic has presented the following on the 13th of April 2022 at the “Survivor Speak Out” global meeting organised by the Army of Survivors organisation and his paper is indeed eye-opening, worth reading and motivating towards greater efforts to end such abhorrent violence towards children and your people. Certainly, Mr Bojan Jovanovic has shown profound courage for speaking out as he does in the defence of and for justice of the vulnerable and abused.
“SURVIVOR SPEAK OUT
Paedophilia and sexual violence in the Serbian Orthodox Church, under the state protection Of Serbia
I am speaking from Serbia, from the European Midnight. There is no ray of light anywhere there. All the light has fled from the earth to heaven, and it shines upon us only from above. And yet, we who are weak in everything, as we are now, we are strong in hope and faith, in the dawn that is nigh. My soul is filled with greatness excitement in this place and on this day when I come out in front of you to express what words cannot express.
Invited to speak, and not permitted to betray your expectation, I pray to God that my speech will be a solace and joy to all who listen to me as well as to those who expect consolation.
You ask who is this man who comes from a nation that you know only by its evil. You ask why I am speaking in the wish to help people who attack me every day.
I speak because the truth cannot be known, it must be revealed and only in such a way can the unfortunate Serbian people be separated from events that pull them to the bottom.
Having nullified the sense of institutions Serbia is a state that has abolished itself and it is a waste of time to expect revitalisation of any process.
They are trying to portray the church as a community of love, unity, and unconditional trust.
Such a wrong attitude creates the feeling of security and freedom in the clergy and allows them to manipulate unhindered with their position and ideas because they are supposedly representatives of the Church. On the other side, believers are afraid to share their experience. That silence gives additional wind to the back of the clergy and that’s why we are where we are. Instead of the Church acknowledging its atrocities, accepting the reality, publicly apologise, and in such a way regain the trust of the believers, who are less and less in numbers, instead of condemning criminals from their ranks who inflicted, and still inflict, harm not only others, but also to the very institution behind which they hide, the Church has hidden itself under the wings of the political thieves who use it for compensating for the decaying social and moral system and covering up daily political mess.
Despite the constant denial of the existence of organised paedophilia and sexual abuse by the clergy of Orthodox Churches – Russian, Greek, Serbian – who want to show it as individual cases, facts tell us otherwise. The Serbian Orthodox Church is a closed institution, and its own privileged position has led directly to decades of abuse which has not been sanctioned, and paedophiles and sexual predators remain beyond the reach of the law.
Documentation is being destroyed, victims are being destroyed, victims and their families are being pressured, and corruption utilised as well. All of this further discourages victims from speaking out in public. And so, victims of violence become victims of the system or the church-political mafia. Behind the cover up stand all systems in Serbia and every authority.
After their defeat on the battlefields the Serbian people found themselves in justified political isolation and economic stagnation … but the spirits of the (great) Serbian ideology have reawakened in that the hellish plan, this time called “Serbian world”, and have once again started with the rattling of weapons ” (quote from the book “Protocols of Greater Serbian Ideology”). After returning to the public scene, the Serbian Orthodox Church did not seize the opportunity to get rid of compromised personnel and various agents in its ranks to be able to reform and return to the path of God’s mission with the help of many intellectuals who were at its disposal.
So that all its responsibility for its crimes may be abolished, the hierarchy of the Serbian Orthodox Church lands in the lap of Serbian political elites who exploit it as compensation for the disintegration of the socio-moral system. In this way an ideology worse than communism emerged in Serbia.
Due to various political entanglements and complicated legacies, the Serbian Orthodox Church has so far pulled through without effective punitive measures being brought against her, and her abuse of the authority God’s mission remains unpunished for the time being. I have spoken several times before and I have extensive documentation about crimes in the Serbian Orthodox Church such as paedophilia, murder of a sexually abused child in a monastery and similar acts.
The integration of church, state and nation has led to the cover-up of decades of sexual abuse of children within the Serbian Orthodox Church, denying victims any opportunities. The victims are boys who lived in monasteries during their schooling to become priests, they found themselves at the mercy of paedophile priests and bishops. In addition to being educated in obedience and respect for the clergy, theologians were threatened with harm to themselves and their families if they told anyone about the sexual abuse. These were not empty threats.
The victims are also children who are recruited from poor families, environments where it is forbidden to talk about that, children from divorced marriages.
Other cases did not go as far as the murder of theologian Milić Blažanović, but they did cause irreparable damage to young victims who have been living with trauma for years, leading cramped lives and continue suffering from depression, anxiety, other mental illnesses, they use drugs and try to commit suicide.
The truth about the crimes of Saint Sava’s ideology within the Serbian Orthodox Church should contribute to the final liberation of the Serbian Orthodox Church and Serbia and the entire region from the bearers of evil that threatens the collective security and human destinies of many who have fallen victim to this crime gang.
THERE IS A REASON FOR EVERYTHING AND FOR EVERY PURPOSE THERE IS TIME UNDER HEAVEN. TIME TO BE BORN AND TIME TO DIE, TIME TO TEAR DOWN AND TIME TO BUILD.
TIME TO BE SILENT AND TIME TO SPEAK.
The church’s sexual abuse of children and young people has created a foyer of hell.
Human abysses and double morals are being opened.
For many, it is news that after a while they just google and start looking at it indifferently. Unlike many who just follow it, the victims carry that crime with them all their lives and for them nothing happens normally anymore.
There is no forgiveness for this sin from the point of view of the victims. And are the “Gods” in mantles truly untouchable or does it become a thing of the past?
LET’S NOT ALLOW CRIME TO GO WITHOUT PUNISHMENT AND REPENTANCE.
Written and translated by Ina Vukic