UN peacekeeping action in Bosnia-Herzegovina's Republic Srpska arouses concern of the Russian Orthodox Church. Patriarch Pavel of Serbia issued protest against such action last month, says the Moscow Patriarchy Department of External Church Relations. The Russian Orthodox Church warned on many previous occasions against violence in houses of prayer and other shrines. Patriarch Pavel's statement of April 11 concerned the same, and was forwarded to US President George W. Bush; John Silvester, BFOR commander; and Wolfgang Petrik, United Nations High Commissioner for Bosnia-Herzegovina. His Beatitude reported armed BFOR soldiers entering the altar of the Dormition Church in Celebrika, and desecrating liturgical vessels. Private homes in Celebrika, Borje and Gocevo were ransacked during searches for wanted war criminal Radovan Karadjic, February 28 and March 1. The Patriarch is under the impression that soldiers were deliberately insulting the Serbian Orthodox community. He appealed for urgent steps to prevent the outrages re-enacted. Otherwise, Serb Christians will regard UN peacekeepers as enemies, warned the Primate of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
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