Statements

Appeal to Turkey

Appeal to Turkey

There is hardly anyone in civilised world not knowing of Hagia Sophia, a magnificent and unique church, at a time the most important church of the entire Christian world, both in the East and in the West. It is also generally known that Hagia Sophia was the Christian church for more than nine centuries and the mosque for more than five centuries. Due to its architecture and fresco painting it is one of the most important cultural monuments and monuments of mankind’s spiritual heritage, protected by UNESCO. If an unknown Muslim poet could write on the Church of the Mother of God of Ljeviša in Prizren (Serbia) that pupil of his eye is the nest to her beauty, whose eye and what kind of sophisticated artistic feeling could express the unparalleled beauty of Hagia Sophia?

Press release of the Holy Synod of Bishops

The Holy Synod of Bishops, at their session held on June 25, 2020, strongly  condemned the continued persecution of the Church by the Montenegrin authorities, manifested by the latest summoning of His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral to the Security Administrative Centre in Podgorica for questioning, where he had been detained for six hours, as well as by arresting a number of priests and faithful people, thereat constantly threatening by deportation of those priests who are not Montenegrin citizens.

The Church in Montenegro and its bishops, clergy and monks, along with the faithful have been defending their shrines and completely justifiably demanding the necessary amendments to the disputed Law on Freedom of Religion, avoiding any politicization of the issue.

Press release of the Holy Synod of Bishops

The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church strongly condemns the latest persecution of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro and last night's arrest of His Grace Bishop Joanikije of Budimlye-Niksic and seven priests by the Montenegrin authorities, that  under the false pretext of fighting the coronavirus, have been using the opportunity to confront the Serbian Orthodox Church and her faithful people.

The Holy Synod of Bishops calls upon the authorities in Montenegro to stop persecuting the Church and to finally start behaving in accordance with the norms of civilization, according to which free confession of faith is one of the most important rights of every individual.

At the same time, the Holy Synod of Bishops expresses great concern over the aggravation of the situation in Montenegro and hopes that the Serbian people, as before, will act peacefully and will not respond to provocations by the then authorities that obviously want a conflict so as to accuse the Orthodox Church and her believers.

It is clear to anyone who is reasonable and well-meaning that sobriety and prudence should be preserved in these moments, and above all we should pray to God that peace prevails in Montenegro and that the innocent Bishop Joanikije and his priests be released from custody immediately.

The Holy Synod of Bishops
of the Serbian Orthodox Church

Press Release of the Episcopal Council of the Orthodox Church in Montenegro

Press Release of the Episcopal Council of the Orthodox Church in Montenegro

The Day of Miraculous Saint Basil of Ostrog – His glory and mercy! – is, for centuries now, a day of а great gathering of the people in Montenegro. During the previous decades, it was a celebration day of all religious kinds in the city of Nikšić gathering a large number of believers. In particular, there has always been a public mass (perhaps like nowhere else among Christian Orthodox) prayer procession, which has been led by the clergy on the streets of Niksic since 1996. On this year's Saint Basil Day people gathered as well, but this time spontaneously: first, in the Ostrog Monastery and then in city of Niksic with the blessing of St. Basil Himself, without the invitation of the bishop and the clergy.

Serbian Patriarch Irinej had a telephone conversation with President Vucic

The President of the Republic of Serbia, Mr. Aleksandar Vucic and His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej have had a telephone conversation. The joint statement of the two cabinets has been given below:

The President of the Republic of Serbia, Mr. Aleksandar Vucic and His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej have expressed great concern over the detention of His Grace Joanikije, Bishop of Budimlije and Niksic, and priests of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro, hoping that our people will act peacefully and calmly in these moments when it would be unreasonable to get involved in any riots or conflicts.

Serbian Patriarch Irinej reminds that the culmination of the hostile attitude of the state authorities of Montenegro towards the Serbian Orthodox Church has begun with the adoption of the controversial Law on Freedom of Religion and flagrant ignoring of the requirements of the Serbian Orthodox Church for having equal position with all the other churches and religious communities and for enjoying the protection of rights that our Church has been having for centuries. The fact that the adopted law has made a great displeasure of our people at the end of last year and the beginning of this year, and that the Bishop and the priests have been arrested and detained now, is the very proof that the Serbian Orthodox Church is being persecuted by the Montenegrin state authorities.

President Vucic has given full support to the Serbian Patriarch Irinej and the bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro in their efforts to resolve all the problems they face through dialogue, peacefully, with full respect for the rights and freedoms of the Serbian Orthodox Church and expressed his hope that Bishop Joanikije and the arrested priests will be released in the shortest possible time.