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Russia’s MFA calls for maintaining unity and solidarity of Orthodox world in Montenegro

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Russia’s MFA calls for maintaining unity and solidarity of Orthodox world in Montenegro


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The adoption of a law on religion in Montenegro can become another step towards squeezing out the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) from the territory of the country and transferring its objects to the schismatic unrecognized Montenegrin Orthodox Church, RIA Novosti reports. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed concern about the situation; the Russian Orthodox Church called the law anti-church.

The MFA’s comment on the situation emphasizes the atmosphere of disagreement and protests that prevailed in the parliament hall and on the streets of Montenegro. Seventeen representatives of the opposition were detained in parliament, protests against the adoption of the law were held in several cities of the country. Representatives of religious organizations and public figures expressed their disagreement.

The Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that the law gives the right to the authorities to deprive the SOC and Orthodox parishioners of Montenegro of more than 650 religious sites. The Foreign Ministry noted that the new law introduced new measures to increase pressure on the SOC, the purpose of which is to squeeze the Church out of the country.

The Russian department urged to observe the legal rights of canonical Orthodox churches, emphasizing the danger of actions leading to the disunity of believers.

Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill condemned the seizure of churches of the canonical SOC and saw political goals in adoption of the Montenegrin law and, in particular, “the fight against Russia”. The patriarch drew attention to the fact that such anti-church actions take place in the center of Europe, where the principle of separation of the Church from the state was repeatedly stated.

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