There appears to be a worrisome situation developing in regard to the Orthodox Christianity in Montenegro.
Rev. Alexander Volkov, spokesman for Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia told reporters after a meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church that the Russian Orthodox Church sees many similarities in the circumstances surrounding the actions against the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) in Montenegro and what transpired in Ukraine.
“The authorities of that country [Montenegro – TASS] persevere in their attempts to create their own, kind of ‘ethnic’ Orthodox Church controlled by them. In light of the developments in Ukraine, this situation acquires particular significance. I would like to stress that the support for the fraternal Serbian Church expressed by the Russian Church signifies the protection of worldwide canonical Orthodoxy from any encroachment by politicians seeking to use the church to their own advantage. As we see, this is happening not only in Ukraine but in Montenegro as well,” Volkov explained.
He also questioned the viability of these schismatic projects.
“In Ukraine, Montenegro and other places where hotspots of clerical tensions exist, local authorities always rely on schismatics. Politicians bank on non-canonical organizations, making such schemes in any part of the globe essentially unfeasible right from the start,” he stressed.
In a separate statement by the Russian Holy Synod, the alarm at the “non-canonical and not real” Montenegrin Orthodox Church was expressed:
“Apparently, there is an alarming trend in Montenegro where the authorities have been stepping up pressure on the canonical clergy and worshippers. The Bishops’ Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church held on May 9-18, 2019 stated that present-day Montenegro is experiencing “attempts to forcibly seize holy sites by the so-called ‘Montenegrin Orthodox Church,’ which is neither canonical nor real. Threats to destroy certain places of worship have been also heard,” the Synod said.
The statement further cited Montenegro’s President Milo Dukanovic told a party meeting in Niksic on June 8, 2019 that there were plans of “restoring Montenegro’s autocephalous (independent) church.”
Currently, the Montenegro government is attempting to push a bill on freedom of religion, which implies the seizure of property belonging to the SOC. This concerns more than 650 holy sites, including famous monasteries in the Orthodox world such as Ostrog.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic asked the Montenegrin government to consider whether it was necessary to pass a law, which would “inevitably worsen good relations between Belgrade and Podgorica.”
Previously, Montenegro’s President Milo Dukanovic accused the Serbian Orthodox Church of trying to maintain a religious monopoly throughout the country.
The president claimed that he would seek autocephaly for “Montenegro’s church” following Ukraine’s example.
Bishop of the Serbian Church (Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral) Amfilohije said in comment on Dukanovic’s statement that the president “is trying to be the head of the church,” and this is “the first time in history when an atheist creates a church.”
EADaily interviewed Serbian Orthodox publicist Vladimir Dimitrievich. He provided some insight into the chance of the former cleric of the SOC Mirash Dedeich to head the Montenegrin autocephalous church. He provided a comment on the situation as a whole.
According to him, Serbian Patriarch Iriney earlier said that the position of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro is so difficult that the life of the Serbian Christians can be compared to the Serbians living in the independent Croatian state during World War 2.
“Because the regime of Milo Djukanovic is doing everything to turn the Montenegrins, who are Serbs, into some other people who will hate their Serbian roots.”
According to Dimitrievich, Montenegrin President Dukanovic spares no effort in attempting to stop any movements of the SOC in Montenegro, as well as threatening the expulsion of all clerics that do not have Montenegrin citizenship and now even taking away the SOC’s property.
The publicist added that the NATO is seeking to create own “variant” of the Orthodox Church, which would support NATO interests in the region.
The entirety of the interview makes points about creating a false church and seeking its autocephaly and filled with remarks of Montenegrins being a “fake nationality” and actually Serbian. It also mentions that the law on freedom of religion was drawn up with the assistance of Hashim Thaci of Kosovo.
In Dimitrievich’s view – if the Montenegro law is adopted, and it seizes the SOC’s property and leads to expulsion of clerics, then the same can be done in the “Albanian false state in Kosovo.”
The Orthodox Church has been for a while now been a hot point in Eastern Europe specifically and non-canonic church entities have been used as a tool in the ongoing geopolitical standoff in the region.
According to some experts the the trends across the Balkans for fake churches to seek autocephaly indicate an attempt to repeat the Ukraine-like scenario in the religious sphere of Balkan states and create a kind of the “Orthodox crescent of instability”. The Global Deep State would use this crescent to counter resistance to its influence and expand its control over the Balkans and eastern Europe.
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