Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
Why Macedonians Around the World Should Care About What is Currently Happening in Macedonia

Why Macedonians Around the World Should Care About What is Currently Happening in Macedonia

Article by MHRMI supporter Biljana Saragil

An attempt to rewrite our history and change our ethnicity is underway. Are you ok with that? What is your red line?

“I’m not political” or “we live in the West. Why should I care about what happens in Macedonia? It doesn’t affect me. I’m still Macedonian and I’m not going to stress about what happens in Macedonia. I only concern myself with what happens in the country I live in.” Or, “you don’t live here. You shouldn’t concern yourself with what happens in Macedonia. Focus on your own country.”

Sound familiar?

This is a common misconception. You are not “political” if you care about defending your ethnic rights against your oppressors. You shouldn’t be worried about being labelled a “nationalist” just because you are proud of your ethnic roots and wish to preserve the history of your ancestors. There is no shame in making your voice be heard against the human rights injustice put onto Macedonians. We are Macedonian. It doesn’t matter what country we were born in or what country we presently live in. We all need to be united as Macedonians for our fight against inhumanity and cultural racism inflicted upon us. We stand united with our fellow Macedonians in Macedonia peacefully protesting and demanding their corrupt government to resign due to the injustice inflicted upon them.

The truth is everything that happens in Macedonia directly affects Macedonians all around the world and this is why we should all care. If our basic human rights are being disrespected in Macedonia they are certainly disregarded or about to be all around the world. We are not immune to cultural racism and human rights injustice just because we live in the West. Western nations who represent the beacon of equal human rights are actually turning a blind eye to our racial injustice. NATO is in fact referring to our ethnicity as the “Citizen of the Republic of North Macedonia” and the EU is pressured by Bulgaria to refer to our ethnicity as the “Official Language of the Republic of North Macedonia”. According to Greece and Bulgaria there is no Macedonian language and our history and language belongs to them. To both of them! This my fellow Macedonians is exactly how we are directly affected whether we want to accept it or not. If the illegal Prespa Agreement was really just a solution to a name dispute with Greece over Macedonia and nothing more, NATO and the EU would undeniably be referring to us as Macedonians because this is our ethnicity and always has been. Instead, our ethnicity is being rejected by the very countries who promote cultural acceptance and the right to self-determination.

Unfortunately, the mandate from Greece and Bulgaria to annihilate Macedonians from the world is far from over. In addition to illegally changing our country’s name and altering history, the corrupt Zaev regime is desperately trying to appease Greece and Bulgaria by destroying the Macedonian Gate in Skopje along with other historical monuments from “Skopje 2014”. If that’s not enough, he is also desperately trying to change the name of our Macedonian Orthodox Archdiocese to “North Macedonian”. If the illegal Prespa Agreement was really only a name change of our country and not a change of our ethnic identity, why pressure our Metropolitans to change the name of our Macedonian Orthodox Archdiocese? Churches around the world are in fact named after the ethnicity of their people and not the name of their country. Our ethnicity is Macedonian and our churches are Macedonian Orthodox.

The Republic of Macedonia’s President Stevo Pendarovski and Prime Minister Zoran Zaev are currently pleading with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew (who is Greek) to accept and recognize our Church Archdiocese which has never been recognized autocephalous due to recognition politics. If our churches are forced to be named “North Macedonian Orthodox” in order to end a dispute with Serbia and appease Greece and Bulgaria, this will begin the conversion of our ethnicity to “North Macedonian” to the rest of the world. This my fellow Macedonians is the mandate that Zoran Zaev and Stevo Pendarovski are expected to fulfill and the final nail on our cross.

Let us not forget that Macedonia and Macedonians are mentioned in 24 different verses in the Bible. The land is Macedonia and the people were called Macedonian - not Greek or Bulgarian. Our name exists in the Bible which is a dagger to Greece and Bulgaria because their names do not. Their names actually didn’t exist in that time. There in lies the dagger. This is why stealing our name, ethnicity and history is crucially important to their historical re-creation. Saint Paul, Jesus Christ’s disciple began spreading Christianity in Macedonia and the Balkan Peninsula towards the mid first century AD. The city of Ohrid in Macedonia is known as the “Jerusalem of the Balkans” and Macedonian Orthodox is among the oldest Christian Orthodox religions. We deserve to be treated by faithful Christian Orthodox hierarchs with respect in which politics is not used as a weapon in our religion.

We’re in a new era where Greece went from 50 year’s of a national narrative of “there’s no such thing as Macedonia and Macedonians” to “Macedonia is Greece” and “Macedonians are Greek”. Former Greek PM Constantine Mitsotakis even admitted in 1995 that the so-called 'name dispute' had nothing to do with Macedonia’s name, but everything to do with hiding Greece’s policy of denying the existence — and cultural genocide — of the large Macedonian minority in Greece after it annexed via The Treaty of Bucharest in 1913. In fact, in 1988 Greece switched up their narrative and formally renamed their northern province of “Northern Greece” to “Macedonia” in an attempt to cover up the fact that the Macedonian Genocide ever happened and to sell the idea that the history of Macedonia suddenly belongs to Greece.

Bulgaria now also claims that the Macedonian language and history and national hero’s such as Goce Delcev who fought and died for an independent Macedonia are in fact, Bulgarian. Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Krasimir Karakachanov recently stated: “You changed your name and your flag, you will also change your history”. Bulgaria plans to block or delay the opening EU accession talks between Macedonia and the European Union unless Macedonia revises it’s history in a way that will portray Macedonians as Bulgarians and the Macedonian language as a Bulgarian dialect. Blackmail and veto power worked wonders with Greece so now it’s Bulgaria’s turn. And the EU’s reaction? Deafening silence.

Macedonians are being labelled by Greece and Bulgaria with culturally racist insults such as “Skopjani” or “North Macedonian” and when it suits their new stories we are called “Greek”, “Bulgarian” or “Yugoslavian”. But tell us how is it possible our ethnicity can be all the above!?!? We demand an apology for the cultural genocide and ethnic cleansing inflicted upon Macedonians from Greece and Bulgaria with the Treaty of Bucharest and only then can we begin to heal and perhaps become “political allies”. We demand that they admit to their inhumane treatment of Macedonians in history and stop trying to annihilate Macedonians whose only crime has been our existence. This my fellow Macedonians is why we should all care and we need to all do our part to stop the inhumane way Macedonians continue to be treated. Our hope is to live in a respectful, culturally and religiously tolerant world.

Biljana Saragil