The situation in Montenegro is getting worse: after the Đukanović regime imposed a law aimed at nationalising the Orthodox Church and hindering religious education, it now intensifies the repression against those who denounce this law.
This law aims at weakening the Serbian Orthodox Church (the local majority church), seizing its proprieties, reducing the transmission of the faith, and promoting a “fake national church” instead of the Orthodox Church. It also hurts the other denominations. For example, it forbids religious elementary schools and the parental religious education of children over 11 without their consent. This law is provoking massive demonstrations and the contestation of many church leaders across Europe and the world. (See here a precise overview of the law).
You can read here a complete overview of the law here.
Since the adoption of the law, tens of thousands of persons have been demonstrating twice a week against this law. The leaders of the main Christian Churches have expressed their concern and support to the Serbian Orthodox Church.
On January 31, 2020, the police in Montenegro violently arrested Mr. Milan Knežević’s mother, as well as another member of his family. Mr. Knežević is a Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and of the opposition to the ruling party in the Parliament of Montenegro.
30 PACE members have urged the authorities and the Constitutional Court of Montenegro to repeal the law and to restore a peaceful dialogue with religious communities.
Montenegro is a Member State of the Council of Europe and is negotiating its accession to the European Union. This situation is unacceptable in Europe. Please join us in supporting Orthodox Christians by signing our petition.
This petition will be officially presented to the European Parliament and to the Council of Europe so that they can take up the situation as a matter of emergency.
The Assembly of the Council of Europe will have the obligation, in accordance with its own rules, to make a stand. A similar procedure will be initiated in the European Parliament.
The ECLJ also acts in all possible ways.