Ulcinj, Montenegro, June 18, 2020
The faithful of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro have published a petition in defense of a priest of the Serbian Orthodox Church whom the authorities are deporting from the country.
In the petition, published on peticije.online, parishioners from the coastal town of Ulcinj call on everyone to come to the defense of Fr. Siniši Smiljiću, who is being pushed out of the country together with his family.
“They have started the procedure of canceling the stay of our priest Siniši Smiljiću in Montenegro. He and his family will be forced to leave Ulcinj and Montenegro. Anyone who wants to support Fr. Siniši can sign the petition,” the appeal reads.
Ulcinj was the site of another provocation against the Serbian Church last week, when the local authorities decided to demolish the monastic residence at the new St. Basil of Ostrog Monastery, declaring that it had been illegally built. The police then opened a criminal case against the Metropolis of Montenegro of the Serbian Orthodox Church and against His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro for the alleged uncoordinated construction of a monastery object.
The Telegram channel Montenegro Direct Line also reports that a priest from Pǉevǉa together with his family is also being deported.
In December 2018, it was reported that Montenegrin authorities refused to extend the residency permits for more than 50 monastics and clergymen of the Serbian Orthodox Church, although they have been in the country with temporary permits for the past two years.