Vesna s. Zarković PhD of History, Research Associate , The Institute for Serbian Culture Prishtina/Leposavić (24. Novembra Street NN, Leposavić, Serbia, 38218)
Zarković V. S. Roman Catholic Propaganda in the Service of Ausria-Hungary in Old Serbia at the End of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th сenturies, Religiya. Tserkov’. Obshchestvo. Issledovaniya i publikatsii po teologii i religii [Religion. Church. Society: Research and publications in the field of theology and religious studies], Saint-Petersburg, 2019, vol. 8, pp. 270–290.
The interest for the area of Old Serbia was first shown by Russia, which opened its consulate in Prizren in 1866. In order to suppress Russian influence, Austria-Hungary directed the focus of its political and economic expansion toward this area and planned the breakthrough toward Thessaloniki via Kosovo and Metohija and Moravsko-Vardarska Valley. In the implementation of the outlined politics Austria-Hungary relied on its consuls in Skopje and Prizren, Roman Catholic priesthood, some people of influence from Muslims and Albanians including numerous paid agents. Serbian people were to be found at the end of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century in hopeless situation and suffered at every step of the way. The number of suffered, oppressed, robbed and exterminated increased every day. While there were the culprits from the Albanian side, to whose deeds Turkish authorities remained silent, on the other hand, the danger was coming from the Austria-Hungarian side and its consuls and greylag-friars which organized Albanians Catholics — Fandas. Roman Catholic activity increased and the results of its work were noticeable even in the areas in which Roman Catholics represented a minority regarding the Serbian population. Numerous examples indicate to the role of Roman Catholic propaganda which contributed to the destruction and displacement of the Serbian population from Old Serbia.