Official statement on the death of Boris Trajkovski in a plane crash on 26th February

Macedonian President, Boris Trajkovski waskilled, aged 47, on Thursday 26th February 2004. His plane crashedin mountainous terrain during fog and heavy rain near Stolac insouthern Bosnia and Herzegovina on his way from Skopje, Macedoniato Mostar, Bosnia. He was a prominent Methodist, and had longstanding links with Ley Hill Methodist Church inBuckinghamshire.

The Methodist Church released the followingstatement on 2nd March.

We join with the United Methodist Church inexpressing our heartfelt shock at the news of the death ofPresident Boris Trajkovski of Macedonia. Inspired by his Christiandiscipleship he was a tireless worker for peace and reconciliationin the midst of the most recent political and social upheaval inthe Balkans. His commitment to the unity and stability of thepeople of Macedonia meant he lived his own life under pressure andnot without threat or risk from those who wanted a differentoutcome. Yet his love of God meant he could do no other. Inrecognition he was presented with the Peace Award of the WorldMethodist Council in 2002.

We pray for his family, for his wife Vilma andhis two children. We uphold them before God. We give thanks for hiswitness. We pray that it might inspire many more to work for peaceand see the way of reconciliation as the future hope. We pray forthe leaders of the Macedonian Orthdox Church and other confessionsand faiths, and for all the politicians and community leaders whomust now take responsibility for the life of the nation.

Boris brought to the name of Methodist respectand honour in a part of the world where the label of sect is easilylevelled at minorities. He demonstrated that God's grace crossesboundaries of race and culture. We mourn his death but give thanksfor his life, for his courage and witness to the God who calls eachone of us into the ways of reconciliation and peace.

Mr Colin Ride
Europe Secretary
on behalf of the Connexional Team and Methodist Church inBritain.