Montenegro, January 21, 2020
Hundreds of thousands of Montenegrins have participated in the protests throughout the country against the recently-adopted anti-Church bill.
According to Kosijerevo Monastery in Banjani, more than 200,000 took to the streets in the evening of January 16, joining in the nightly open-air prayer and procession in defense of the Church. The current population of the country is just over 678,000.
Discontent with the law is reportedly growing every day across the country.
The largest protests have been held in the capital city of Podgorica, Berane, and Tivat, reports the Union of Orthodox Journalists.
Meanwhile, His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro has stated that there can be no negotiations with the Montenegrin authorities while the scandalous new law remains in force.
While President Milo Đukanović reproaches the Serbian Church in Montenegro for supposedly politicizing the issue, Met. Amfilohije said, “If he calls it a political assembly, then he doesn’t know what is ecclesiastical and what is political, and that’s not surprising, because he isn’t baptized. And the fact that he calls to talk about the law—the people have spoken their piece here today: This is not law, but lawlessness and the taking of holy sites.”
“This law is the most shameful thing that has happened in Montenegro. We can’t talk about it the way he wants,” the Metropolitan said.
However, the President says the long-prepared law will not be abandoned.
“The state of Montenegro does not confiscate property from the Serbian Orthodox Church, since this property is actually the property of the state of Montenegro, but was usurped between 1986 and 2000,” Đukanović said.