Macedonian authorities seize canonical bishop’s passport
July 13, 2018. Macedonian authorities have seized the passport of the sole canonical Orthodox bishop serving in the country, whom they have already persecuted for years.
At the border crossing at Medžitlija, near Bitola, the Ministry of Internal Affairs confiscated the passport of His Beatitude Jovan (Vraniskovsky), Archbishop of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skopje, without explanation on July 9, reports the site of the Archbishopric of Ohrid.
The Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric under Abp. Jovan separated from the Macedonian church in 2002 to seek reunification with the Serbian Church. His Eminence was then imprisoned for many years on trumped-up charges of “inciting national, racial and religious hatred, schism and intolerance.” At times he was placed in solitary confinement, and he was allowed few visitors from the Serbian Orthodox Church. He was released from prison on February 2, 2015, although new proceedings against him began soon afterwards.
In its statement on the latest provocation, the Church writes that such discrimination without any explanation is characteristic of states in which there is no rule of law.