Nikšić, Montenegro, July 8, 2020
The Montenegrin Metropolis of the Serbian Orthodox Church honored Miroslav Koprivica, the backhoe driver who quit his job rather than participate in the destruction of a holy monastery, following the Divine Liturgy at St. Basil of Ostrog Church in Nikšić on Sunday.
His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije Montenegro presented Koprivica with the Golden Order of St. Peter II, the Divine Seer of Lovćen “for his confessional testimony of fidelity to Christ God and the life of St. Basil of Ostrog, whose home he refused to demolish, on Bliska Gora near Ulcinj,” reports the Diocese of Budimlja and Nikšić.
“Where Koprivica was called to demolish, to desecrate that sanctuary of God, on Bliska gora, there was a whole cordon of police armed to the teeth. This government called at 5:00 AM to destroy the residence, which the people had started building for the nuns, on behalf of Montenegro, on the grounds that they allegedly did not ask for permission,” Met. Amfilohije recalled.
“We are grateful to our Miroslav Koprivica,” the Metropolitan said.
Explaining what happened on the day of the incident, June 9, Koprovica said: “This morning, my company sent me to Ulcinj with a backhoe, but they didn’t say where to go and what I would be doing. Only when I arrived did I see what it was about. I immediately got out of the backhoe and told them I wouldn’t destroy anything or participate it in this. I crossed myself and walked away on foot.
There have also been policemen in Montenegro who quit the force rather than use violence against the Orthodox faithful who were protesting the government in peaceful processions.