UOC representatives take part in a protest cross procession in Montenegro

Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich, deputy head of the UOC DECR of the UOC, at a prayer procession in Budva, 27.01.2020. Photo: Facebook

Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevka and Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich went to Montenegro to personally support the Orthodox defending their Church and their shrines.

On January 27, 2020, the Head of the Representation of the UOC to European international Organizations, Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevka, and the Deputy Head of the Department for External Church Relations of the UOC, Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich, took part in the prayer procession of Orthodox believers in Budva (Montenegro).

“We have been reading a lot lately about the Orthodox protests in this country against the law passed by the Montenegrin parliament that all churches and monasteries built before 1918 should be transferred to state ownership,” wrote UOC Spokesman Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich on his page in Facebook. “Today we took part in such a cross procession in Budva. Today there is also the feast of St. Sava the Serbian. We’ve got a lot of impressions. But for now, I’ll show you emotions. "Ne-da-mo-svie-ty-nie!" people sing and chant meaning "We will not give up the shrines!"

Bishop Victor of Baryshevka emphasized that the participants in the prayer procession in defense of the Orthodox churches and monasteries in Budva, which were joined by representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, are united by “living faith and one spirit”.

“Dear brothers and sisters, Orthodox Ukrainians! Let’s support our Orthodox brothers and sisters in Montenegro with our prayers,” addressed the Bishop Ukrainian believers in his video message posted on Facebook. “Now they need this prayer support more than ever. We are the one Body of Christ, in which there is no Gentile or Jew, no Montenegrin or Ukrainian, but Christ is all and is in all.”

As reported by the UOJ, on January 27, with the blessing of Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and all Ukraine, Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevka concelebrated with Metropolitan Amphilochios, Head of the Montenegrin-Littoral Metropolitanate of the SOC during the festive liturgy at Savina Glavica nunnery.

Recall that the adoption by the Government of Montenegro of the law “On Freedom of Religion and Belief and the Legal Status of Religious Communities”, according to which the state becomes the owner of the bulk of church property (including land, buildings and even holy relics), has caused massive protests throughout Montenegro, which continue to this day. For example, on the night of January 26-27, tens of thousands of Orthodox took part in a night procession and prayer in defense of the Serbian shrines in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro.

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