Tuesday, 11 December 2018 | News today: 8

“Albanian Orthodox Church” will be the crown of federalization


Columnist: Nikola Srbov

In the past period, many pages have been written about of the “plan” of Zoran Zaev for the new face of Macedonia. I wrote about the physical division of the state, the introduction of bilingualism, or monolingualism in western Macedonia, decentralization of municipalities joined in the regions, their division into cantons and federalization of Macedonia. But the division is not done overnight, for that institutions are needed and, most importantly, the people inside them.

It is not possible to drive out 400,000 Macedonians from western Macedonia, or to make them voluntarily leave, when I say western Macedonia, I refer to Macedonia that has a bounder exactly in the middle, a territory that enters the map of the so-called “Greater Albania” and without the City of Skopje. That territory includes Bitola, Prilep, Ohrid, Veles, the whole Pelagonija region and two natural lakes – Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa. Even if they want, Albanians will not be able to create a compact territory with 400,000 Macedonians in it, and this was proved in Struga where Macedonians decided not to emigrate but stayed to fight. Hence it follows the most dangerous part of the plan that Zaev is implementing, and that is assimilation of Macedonians in western Macedonia.

How is assimilation carried out? We all know Zaev’s position over “bowing to pressure” in terms of the country’s name, undoubtedly, if Zaev came into power, the name Republic of Macedonia will be history, the Constitution will be amended. In that case the identity of the Macedonians, which rests on the name of the country, will be questioned. The only link in our Macedonian identity would remain the Macedonian language, and that is, actually, the most basic link in the identity of a person. With the announced bilingualism, as I wrote in the previous issue, Albanian language will not be spoken in eastern Macedonia, it is not possible because there are no Albanians, but that’s why Macedonians in western Macedonia will learn Albanian. Thus, we would have two clean areas, monolingual, Macedonian in the east, Albanian in the west. That’s how identity is lost.

But to finalize the process of assimilation, you need an institution. The institution that will set your new identity is the Church. Historically, the Macedonians in the nineteenth century were assimilated through church propaganda, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Bulgarian Exarchate and the Serbian Church in Macedonia made Greeks, Bulgarians and Serbs out of Macedonians, which means we have the experience with deprivation of individuality through the church and the educational system that was within it. Since the education system is separated from the Church, Macedonians in western Macedonia will have to learn the Albanian language. Just to remind you, a few months ago a book was published and the question of creation of “Albanian Orthodox Church” in the country was raised.

The request of certain circles to create a parallel church in our country went so far as to require the Bigorski Monastery to be a kind of headquarters of that church. If decentralization is implemented as planned by Zoran Zaev, SDSM, then registering such a parallel church is more certain, which is unlawful and non-canonical.

Thus the Macedonian issue will be closed with one blow. The name of the state – changed. The identity of the Macedonians – stripped away through the language. The Macedonian Orthodox Church issue – closed. Are our neighbors having problems with these three things, is the name of the country questioned by Greece, the identity and language by Bulgaria and the church by Serbia?

The Macedonian Orthodox Church – Ohrid Archbishopric could lose jurisdiction over the whole territory west of the Vardar river, and the institution that for centuries kept us Macedonians could cease to exist. In this case, if parallel church is established in western Macedonia, the Macedonians in this territory will become what publicly was discussed a few months ago – Orthodox Albanians. That is a complete assimilation of a nation, in terms of identity, language, name and Church. So western Macedonia will have one language and one nation, where the Muslim Albanians will have their religious institution, while the Orthodox Albanians will have theirs. Such territory will have full right to break away from the established federal state.

And no, I don’t speak about imaginary scenarios, and in general the Albanians are not to blame, Zoran Zaev has a program in which all of this is written in the part of decentralization of institutions, which needs to be carefully analyzed where it leads to and to present to the public with the right words.

We are hours from the referendum vote to be or not to be, the public is already familiar with all scenarios that are part of the “plan” that Zoran Zaev is to implement, it is up to us to decide what kind of country we want to live in, or rather do we want to have a state and identity or just to embarrassingly give up those things that our ancestors died for.