Chicago's Serbian community reacts to embassy bombing

February 21, 2008 2:52:37 PM PST
Chicago is home to one of the largest Serbian American populations in the country. The influx of Serbians worked at the steel mills in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Chicago and Gary, Ind. The descendants of those early immigrants remained in the area and many congregate at the Serbian Orthodox Churches throughout the region.

Bob Pavich, a Serbian American, said Serbs in Belgrade are outraged Kosovo- which is now 90-percent Muslim Albanian- would try to separate from Serbia because it is the birthplace of Serbia and the Serbian Orthodox Church.

"Kosovo is the heart and soul of Serbia for several hundred years. If you have an opportunity to visit Kosovo, you will be struck by the number of churches and monasteries that exist in that part of Serbia. That's still the center of church life in Serbia," said Pavich.

Despite the U.S. government's recognition of Kosovo's independence, Pavich said he and other attorneys are planning to make a case before the United Nations.

For now, he hopes the problem in Belgrade can be resolved without violence.