Budva, Montenegro, January 31, 2020
The Church of Christ is invincible, and the gates of hell will never overcome it, no matter how hard the forces of evil are presently trying to rupture the Church in Ukraine and in Montenegro, His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro preached in his homily on the feast of St. Sava on January 27.
Concelebrated by a visiting Ukrainian delegation at the Savina Glavica Convent near the city of Budva, Met. Amfilohije took the opportunity to compare the religious situation in Montenegro with that in Ukraine, noting that “the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, like our Church, has suffered for centuries, but has preserved its faith and loyalty to Christ God.”
He also noted that many churches have been seized from the canonical Ukrainian Church in our times, as the Montenegrin state is preparing to do as well.
Though there is confrontation on the ground in Ukraine, “the Church of God is invincible, and the gates of hell will not overcome it,” he preached, quoting the words of the Lord, “neither in Kiev, nor here in Montenegro.”
Met. Amfilohije also implored the Montenegrin authorities not to repeat the mistake of former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who was roundly defeated in March by comedian Vladimir Zelensky.
The people voted against Poroshenko, the Metropolitan said, because he “persecuted the Church of God and created his own.”
“May God grant that this happens to our politicians here, that those who want the same godless laws that lead to the seizure of the churches of God would end up like Poroshenko,” he said.
Rather than imitating a disgraced Ukrainian politician, Met. Amfilohije called on Montenegrin politicians In addition, to “return to the path leading to eternal life, upon which our guide Saint Sava established us.”
His Grace Bishop Viktor of Baryshevka, leading the visiting Ukrainian delegation, also noted the parallels between the Ukrainian and Montenegrin Churches today, and emphasized the need for constant prayer and effective mutual support between the Orthodox peoples.
That evening, the delegation also participated in a procession protesting the scandalous anti-Orthodox law recently adopted by the Montenegrin state.