On Sunday, the enthronement of the new Primate of the Montenegrin-Primorsky Metropolis of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) took place in Montenegro Ioannikia, who replaced the late Metropolitan in his rank Amphilochia… The ceremonial event was in jeopardy due to the riots organized by the Montenegrin national radicals with the support of the president Milo Djukanovic…
Tensions have been building up over the past few weeks. Nationalists, liberals, adherents of Djukanovic pasted leaflets calling for attacks on the clergy, organized pickets near the Cetinsky monastery, where enthronement was to take place, demanding to move the ceremony to another place. Their main slogan was that the monastery in Cetinje is a Montenegrin shrine, where it is unacceptable to elevate to the rank of Metropolitan of the Serbian Church (whose parishioners are more than 70% of the inhabitants of Montenegro).
On the eve of enthronement, militants from among the protesters turned to violence: they broke through the police cordon around the monastery and erected barricades of stones and tires at the entrances to Cetinje. They attacked police cordons, threw Molotov cocktails and stones, and set fire to car tires. 20 police officers were injured. The attacks were coordinated by people from Djukanovic’s entourage. One of them is an advisor to the head of state Veselin Velovich was arrested.
“An attack on the police is an attack on the state! Everything that happened yesterday and today in Cetinje is an attempt at terrorist acts, ”
– commented riots Prime Minister of Montenegro Zdravko Krivokapich…
According to the President of Serbia Alexandra Vucic, the Montenegrin government planned to cancel the enthronement, but the firm position of the SOC hierarchs forced them to abandon this intention.
Clashes and barricades on the roads forced the church delegation from Belgrade to get to the monastery by helicopter guarded by special forces.
In 2000, the schismatic “Montenegrin Orthodox Church” was created in Montenegro (a scenario was tested, which was subsequently implemented in Ukraine). In 2006, Montenegro was torn away from Serbia and declared independence.
In 2019, Djukanovic insisted on the adoption of a discriminatory law on “freedom of religion”, which assumed the seizure of the property of the SOC on the territory of Montenegro in favor of the state – more than 650 objects in total. After thousands of popular protests against the infringement of the church and the parliamentary elections in August 2020, the government formed opposition forces to Djukanovic, and amendments were made to the scandalous law.
Nevertheless, the Montenegrin government is in every possible way postponing the signing of a basic agreement with the Serbian Orthodox Church, designed to settle disputes. In May, when the signing of the agreement was planned, Krivokapich unexpectedly proposed to postpone the signing to October 30 (they say, the text of the document is incomplete). The reason for the delays is related to pressure from Djukanovic and his Western “partners”, splitting the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Photo – Associated Press, D. Milovanovic
Own. corr. FSK
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