More and more: Hundreds of thousands come out to defend Montenegrin Church

Believers at the church of the Resurrection of Christ, Podgorica, 02.02.20. Photo: Vijesti

On Sunday, up to 200, 000 believers took to the streets of Montenegro, whose population is about 630, 000 people, to prayer processions against the anti-church law.

On February 2, 2020, a record number of believers in the Serbian Orthodox Church came out to prayer protests in Podgorica, Bielo-Pole, Beran, Bar, Niksic and other cities of Montenegro. The believers, who are seeking the abolition of anti-church law, chant “We will not give up the shrines!” and claim that there will be more of them every day, the Vijesti portal reports.

A prayer service and lithium in front of the church of the Resurrection of Christ in the country's capital Podgorica gathered “the maximum number of people in the history of the city” on the streets.

“Nobody can do anything to us,” said Archpriest Mamchilo Krivokapich, vicegerent of the Montenegrin-Littoral Metropolitan Amphilochios, who led the peaceful prayer procession in Podgorica. “Until this law is withdrawn, we will not leave the streets. Every day there will be more of us. Negotiations will be possible only when the law is revoked.”

The clergyman emphasized that "if he (Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic – Ed.) does not repeal the law, then the law will repeal him."

The publication said that village residents are joining protest prayers in large cities, among them there are plenty of young people making a kind of walking pilgrimage. In fact, 17 young men from Plevli had covered the record-setting route of 84 kilometers before the beginning of Sunday lithium in northern Montenegro. Mass services were also held in Herceg Novi, Budva, Zabljak, Danilovgrad and other cities of the country.

It is noted that small groups of people tried several times to chant political slogans and derogatory remarks against President Milo Djukanovic; however, participants in the prayer processions did not allow them to do this, recalling that the main target of the event was to protect the shrines.

We will remind that the adoption by the Montenegrin government on December 27, 2019 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), provoked massive protests across Montenegro that continue to this day. For example, on the night of January 26-27, tens of thousands of the Orthodox joined the night religious procession and prayer standing in defense of the shrines of the SOC in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro.

On January 27, representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church took part in the many-thousand prayer processions of Orthodox believers in Budva – Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevka, Head of of the UOC Representation to European International Organizations, and Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich, Head of the UOC DECR.

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