Dozens of people were injured during protests against the church in Montenegro

Dozens of people were injured during protests against the church in Montenegro

Mass against the enthronement of Metropolitan Joannikij of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the local monastery continued in the Montenegrin city of Cetinje on September 5.

Residents of Montenegro continue to actively protest the enthronement of the Metropolitan of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Joannikije, in their country. On Sunday, September 5, about 50 people were injured, and 14 protesters were detained during clashes with police in the city of Cetinje in the south of the country.

The day before, thousands of protesters blocked all roads leading to Cetinje. Demonstrators shouted slogans “This is not Serbia” and “Long live Montenegro!” Many of them spent the night of September 4 to 5 outside guarding the barricades. The police failed to disperse them, even using tear gas.

According to an AFP reporter, some protesters were armed and fired in the air, while others burned tires.

As a result, on September 5, Metropolitan Iaonniki and Patriarch Porphyry, the head of the Orthodox Church, were taken by helicopter to the enthronement ceremony under police guard. The monastery of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin in Cetinje, where the enthronement was to take place, is considered by many Montenegrins as a symbol of the independence of their country.

The underlying cause of the unrest is the ethnic conflict between Serbs and Montenegrins of other nationalities. The Serbian Orthodox Church plays an important role in Montenegro, but many Montenegrins believe it is under the strong influence of Belgrade.

Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic, in particular, says that the Serbian Orthodox Church is trying to undermine his country’s independence and return Montenegro to Serbian control. For its part, the Montenegrin government is seen by many as favoring the KWS.

In 2006, after a referendum, Montenegro announced its withdrawal from the union with Serbia. Serbs consider themselves about a third of the 620,000 inhabitants of this Balkan state.

Recall that at the end of 2020, Patriarch Irinej, the Primate of the Serbian Orthodox Church, died of COVID-19.

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