ECRI voices concern regarding the denial of registration of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric
The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), which operates as a body of the Council of Europe, in its latest Report, published on 15-th July 2010, voiced serious concern regarding the denial of registration of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric.
The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance devotes a significant part of its Report precisely to the issue of the denial of registration of the minority religious groups in R. Macedonia.
Subsequently, we quote only a part of the Report, in which a concern is expressed, regarding the denial of registration of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric by the Court Authorities in our homeland.
In the part for religious minorities, on page 32 of the report, the following is written: "ECRI is moreover concerned about the difficulties encountered by certain minority religious groups in obtaining their registration, although this is a legal requirement for them to be recognized as separate legal entities and able to exercise their activities in full. The legislation was amended by the law of 5 September 2007 on the status of churches, religious communities and religious groups (which came into force on 1 May 2008) with the stated purpose of addressing these difficulties, but it seems that they are not entirely settled. It indeed seems that registration applications by about ten religious communities or groups, including the Ohrid independent Orthodox diocese... referred to above, have still not been granted.
ECRI strongly recommends that the authorities settle without delay the issue of registration of minority religious groups and communities. It also recommends that they exercise vigilance with regard to all forms of discrimination or intolerance on grounds of religion."
The persecution and discrimination on religious grounds by R. Macedonia against the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric is performed by the means of continuation of the judicial persecution of the Archbishop Jovan and the denial of the state authorities to register the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric. The state has introduced the new law for registration of the religious communities in order to leave the impression in front of the international community that it is carrying out the required reforms, but in practice, that law was never put in force, and the government continues to protect the state monopoly of the Macedonian Orthodox Church.
The registration of the smaller religious communities and the respect of the basic religious freedoms of all citizens of R. Macedonia equally, is a required condition for reaching the civilization values of the European Union towards which R. Macedonia, for the time declaratively, strives.
The Report in whole can be read at the following address: http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/ecri/Country-by-country/Former_Yugoslav_Republic_Macedonia/MKD-CbC-IV-2010-019-ENG.pdf