It was in a particularly tense environment that the brand new head of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro was inducted. Opponents who answered the decision of the president and “patriotic” organizations accuse him of serving Belgrade.
The brand new head of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro was inducted on September 5 below the safety of police commandos who dispersed hostile demonstrators with tear gasoline. Sufficient to extend the worsening of id tensions which are rife on this small Balkan state.
Bishop Joanikije was dropped at Cetinje monastery, seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC), by helicopter to be able to bypass the barricades which had blocked the entry roads to this small city within the south of the nation the day earlier than. .
Tensions have escalated in Montenegro for the reason that announcement of the ceremony to be held within the Cetinje monastery, the previous royal capital. That is the place the headquarters of the SPC is positioned, however the constructing can also be an emblem of “sovereignty” for a part of the Montenegrins.
Montenegro grew to become unbiased from Serbia in 2006 after nearly 90 years of residing collectively, however however maintains advanced relations with its neighbor.
A 3rd of the 620,000 inhabitants determine themselves as Serbs and a few nationalists in Montenegro deny a separate id. The Serbian Orthodox Church is the dominant faith within the small state, however its opponents accuse it of serving Belgrade’s pursuits. The Montenegrin state is making an attempt to cut back the affect of the Serbian Orthodox Church, by way of help for the Autocephalous Church of Montenegro created in 1993 and thru the adoption of a controversial regulation on spiritual affairs adopted on the finish of 2019.
In response to photos launched by the Church, Bishop Joanikije and the patriarch of the SPC, Porfirije, had been dropped by helicopter on the garden of the monastery the place they had been engulfed below a flock of bells.
A safety perimeter had been arrange by the police across the 15th century constructing to guard the transient induction ceremony.
The police fired tear gasoline in addition to sound bombs to chase the protesters from the neighborhood of the monastery.
The day earlier than, hundreds of demonstrators had arrange barricades on the roads utilizing rocks or automobiles.
Many protesters had spent the evening at these roadblocks round fires lit to heat up, an AFP correspondent reported. Some protesters had been armed and fired within the air whereas others set tires on fireplace.
Protesters deserted the roadblocks because the induction ceremony started.
A mobilization on the name of the president and “patriotic” organizations
They had been responding to the attraction of organizations that declare to be “patriotic” in addition to the DPS occasion of Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic, defeated a 12 months in the past within the legislative elections by a coalition near the SPC.
The president, who had introduced his presence in Cetinje “the place the dignity of the state is defended”, accuses the authorities of neighboring Serbia and the SPC of “denying Montenegro and the Montenegrins, in addition to the integrity” of his nation .
The city’s monastery, the place Montenegrin rulers sat for hundreds of years till the tip of World Battle I, is taken into account by SPC opponents to be the property of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church, which stays within the minority and which isn’t acknowledged by the Orthodox world.
However each the brand new authorities and the SPC accuse the Montenegrin president of fueling spiritual tensions for political ends because the final legislative elections ended three many years of his occasion’s rule.
For Montenegrin Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic, near the Serbian Church, Milo Djukanovic is “the inspiration and initiator of tensions”.
The top of presidency referred to as on “all sincere Montenegrin residents to not give in to the manipulation of those that are able to push the brothers right into a battle, to be able to maintain their advantages and privileges”.
Joanikije succeeds Archbishop Amfilohije, who died in 2020 from Covid-19, after main the SPC in Montenegro for thirty years.
At first, the SPC introduced that the enthronement would give rise to a preferred celebration in entrance of the Cetinje monastery. However confronted with rising tensions, she gave it up, as an alternative organizing, on the night of September 4, a big gathering of the devoted in entrance of a church in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro.