Podgorica, December 11, 2020
The text of the amended law on religious freedom is ready to be considered by the Montenegrin government next week, said Dr. Vladimir Leposavić, the Minister of Justice and Human and Minority Rights.
The law on religious freedom, initially adopted last year under the government of President Milo Đukanović and Prime Minister Duško Marković, gave the government the authority to confiscate important properties from the Serbian Orthodox Church. The President openly supported the miniscule “Montenegrin Orthodox Church,” a schismatic group that rejects the canonical Serbian Orthodox Church.
The law proved to be quite scandalous and unpopular, and citizens of Montenegro began to take to the streets by the hundreds of thousands to protest the persecution of their Church. In the elections in August, the Đukanović government finally lost power after 30 years, as an opposition coalition took a majority of parliamentary seats.
The new government declared that amending the law to end the persecution of the Serbian Church would be its top priority. The new government came into power on December 4.
“The text of the amendments to the law on religious freedom is ready and the disputed articles of this act have been deleted and amended. The proposed amendments to the law will be decided urgently by the government early next week and then forwarded to the Assembly for approval, which will fulfill the pre-election promise of the new government,” said Minister Leposavić, reports Romfea.
The date of the parliamentary vote has not been set, Leposavić noted, adding that the law must first be passed by the Legislature and the Committee on Human and Minority Rights.