Montenegro, August 25, 2020
The Orthodox faithful in Montenegro again took to the streets throughout the country on Sunday, holding mass protests against the persecution of the Serbian Orthodox Church just days before parliamentary elections scheduled for August 30.
Such events began to be held in December after the government adopted the scandalous “Law on Religious Freedom” that allows the state to confiscate ancient Serbian Orthodox Church property. Cross processions were held twice weekly throughout the country for several months, though they have been put on hold several times due the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The processions began early in the morning, reports TASS with reference to Serbian media, but the largest procession, form the second largest city of Nikšić to the capital city of Podgorica, was blocked by the Montenegrin police under the pretext of “fighting the coronavirus.”
However, after hours of confrontation between protestors and the police, the blockades were lifted, and the demonstrators reached the capital by about 11:00 PM, to the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ, where opposition leader Zdravko Krivokapic addressed the crowd.
Try as they might to prevent the day’s events, the authorities were unable to prevent the protests of believers from resuming, Krivokapic emphasized. “Our victory is inevitable; we are righting for the future of all citizens of Montenegro, and August 30 will be our victory day,” he told the crowd.
“Let prayer unite us,” he said, after which the crowd prayed the Lord’s Prayer together.
After the event, police opened criminal cases against Krivokapic, five priests, and two other citizens for violating the ban on mass gatherings due to the pandemic. The hierarchs and clergy of the Serbian Church in Montenegro have been continuously harassed for defending the rights of their Church.