Montenegrin police brutally beat hierarch of Serbian Church

Metropolitan Amfilohij (Radović) and Bishop Metodije (Ostoich) near the Parliament of Montenegro. Photo: sputniknews

The Montenegrin police beat and kicked the bishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church Methodius (Ostoich) and several believers.

The Montenegrin police severely beat Bishop Metodije of Diokleia of the Serbian Orthodox Church and believers who protested against the adoption of anti-church law by the country's Parliament, reports the website Sputniknews.

On December 26, despite strong protests from the hierarchs, clergy, monastics, and faithful of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the majority religion in the country, the Montenegrin Parliament adopted the anti-Church law “On Freedom of Religion and Belief and the Legal Status of Religious Communities”.

Some believers of the Serbian Church who did not agree with the adoption of this law and in protest blocked the roads in the cities of Budva and Niksic were detained by the police.

Large crowds of Orthodox faithful took to the streets in several cities and towns to protest the new law, which resulted in the Montenegrin police severely beating His Grace Bishop Metodije of Diokleia and several faithful with batons, reports the official website of the Metropolis of Montenegro.

“The bishop and individual believers were knocked to the ground and beaten with batons and kicked,” the site relates.

“Two worshippers who tried to protect him were also wounded. One suffered a broken hip and the other a broken collarbone,” the report continues. Both were admitted to the hospital in the town of Pljevlja.

The incident occurred on the Đurđevića Tara Bridge, located at the crossroads between Mojkovac, Žabljak, and Pljevlja.

“This act best confirmed the truth of the words of Prime Minister Marković, who said in the Assembly that the police should not use force against believers, and shows what kind of law on religious freedom was being adopted, and how free the Church and the faithful people are in modern Montenegro,” the Church site reads.

As reported before, His Grace Bishop Joanikije of Budimlja-Nikšić told protesters in Podgorica that every parish of the Serbian Church in Montenegro will develop its own committee to protect churches, monasteries, and shrines of the Serbian Church in the wake of the adoption of the new law that will allow the Montenegrin government to seize Church property. 

 

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