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 Budim-Niksic and seven priests by the Montenegrin government, which, under the false pretext of fighting the coronavirus, is using the opportunity to confront the Serbian Orthodox Church and its faithful people.
The Holy Synod of Bishops appeals to the authorities in Montenegro to stop the persecution of the Church and to finally begin acting in accordance with the norms of civilization, according to which free confession of faith is one of the most important rights of every individual.
Simultaneously, the Holy Synod of Bishops expresses great concern over the heightened situation in Montenegro and hopes that the Serbian people, just as they did before, will act peacefully and will not respond to the government’s provocations, which obviously want conflict in order to blame the Serbian Orthodox Church its faithful.
It is clear to anyone who is reasonable and well-meaning that sobriety and prudence should be kept in these moments, and above all we should pray to God that peace reigns in Montenegro and that those innocent, His Grace Bishop Joanikije and his clergy, be released from custody immediately.
Holy Synod of Bishops
of the Serbian Orthodox Church