Communique of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church on Montenegrin antichurch bill.
December 25, 2019. As regards the latest developments in Montenegro relating to the announced adoption of the draft Law on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Legal Status of Religious Communities, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church hereby expresses its support to the archbishops, clergy, monasticism and faithful people of the dioceses: Montenegro and the Littoral, Budimlje-Niksic, Mileseva and Zahumlje-Herzegovina, to continue defending their religious rights in Montenegro, encouraged by the power of the Holy Spirit and the prayerful representation of the saints of our own kin.
As already stated in the official statement of the Holy Assembly of Bishops, we now reiterate that we are against the draft Law by which representatives of the authorities in Montenegro want to forcibly take away churches and monasteries and the belonging properties from the Metropolitanate and Dioceses of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and whose provisions would abolish the inalienable right of every individual to freedom of religion and conscience.
Bearing in mind all the consequences of adopting such a Law, we appeal to the members of the Parliament of Montenegro to listen to the voice of the bishops and the faithful of our Holy Church which has been unequivocally and clearly expressed at two church-people’s assemblies, and not to vote in favour of this draft Law.
At the same time, we support the initiative proposed by His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral and sent to the Legislative Committee and the Parliament of Montenegro to withdraw the proposed Law from the parliamentary procedure, which would create conditions for the preparation of a new one that would be in accordance with the standards of modern democratic states and acceptable to the Serbian Orthodox Church.
The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church