Tue. May 24th, 2022

CETINJE, Montenegro (AP)– The brand-new head of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro was inaugurated on Sunday amid clashes in between police and protesters who oppose continued Serb influence in the small Balkan state.Police and media reports stated a minimum of 7 cops officers and numerous protesters were injured in the clashes that saw cops launch tear gas versus the demonstrators, who tossed rocks and bottles at them and fired gunshots into the air. At least 15 individuals were arrested.Sundays ceremony kept in Cetinje, a former capital of the little Balkan nation, has angered challengers of the Serbian church in Montenegro, which declared independence from surrounding Serbia in 2006. Evading road blockades established by the demonstrators, the new head of the Serbian church in Montenegro, Metropolitan Joanikije, showed up in Cetinje by a helicopter in addition to the Serbian patriarch. Television footage revealed the priests being led into the Cetinje abbey by greatly armed riot cops holding a bulletproof blanket to protect their bodies.The demonstrators set up barriers with trash bins, tires and large rocks to try to prevent church and state dignitaries from concerning the inauguration. Chanting “This is Not Serbia!” and “This is Montenegro!,” a lot of the protesters invested the night at the barriers amidst reports that authorities were sending reinforcements to break through the blockade. Tires at one blockade were set on fire.Montenegrins remain deeply divided over their nations ties with neighboring Serbia and the Serbian Orthodox Church, which is the countrys dominant spiritual institution. Around 30% of Montenegros 620,000 individuals consider themselves Serb.Since Montenegro divided from Serbia, pro-independence Montenegrins have promoted for an acknowledged Orthodox Christian church that is different from the Serbian one.Metropolitan Joanikije stated after the event that “the divisions have actually been synthetically developed and we have actually done all in our power to assist remove them, however that will take a lot of time.”In a clear presentation of the sharp political and social divide in Montenegro, President Milo Djukanovic, the designer of the states independence from Serbia, went to Cetinje while the current pro-Serb Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic went to Podgorica to welcome the Serbian Patriarch.Krivokapic branded the demonstrations as “a tried terrorist act,” while Djukanovic stated the protesters in Cetinje safeguarded national interests versus the declared quote by Serbia to impose its impact in Montenegro through the church.Djukanovic implicated the government of “ruthlessly serving imperial interests of (Serbia) and the Serbian Orthodox Church, which is a striking fist of Serbian nationalism, all versus Montenegro.”In Serbia, President Aleksandar Vucic, who has been implicated by the opposition in Montenegro of meddling in its internal affairs in combination with Russia, congratulated Joanikije on his inauguration and applauded the federal government for going ahead with the ceremony in spite of the clashes.”Cetinje is a town where some 90% of individuals protest the Serbian Orthodox Church, where there is hate towards everyone who is not Montenegrin,” Vucic said in Belgrade. “This is not a genuine hate, its hate that is induced by particular political leaders in Montenegro, so it was quite sensible to expect what happened there.”The U.S. government prompted all sides “to urgently de-escalate the situation,” according to a U.S. Embassy statement. “Religious freedom and the freedom of expression, consisting of to in harmony assemble, need to be respected,” it said.Joanikijes predecessor as the churchs leader in Montenegro, Amfilohije, passed away in October after contracting COVID-19. Montenegros previous authorities led the nation to independence from Serbia and defied Russia to join NATO in 2017. Montenegro also is seeking to become a European Union member. ___ Dusan Stojanovic and Jovana Gec contributed from Belgrade, Serbia.

CETINJE, Montenegro (AP)– The new head of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro was inaugurated on Sunday in the middle of clashes in between authorities and protesters who oppose continued Serb influence in the tiny Balkan state.Police and media reports stated at least 7 police officers and numerous protesters were injured in the clashes that saw police launch tear gas versus the demonstrators, who tossed rocks and bottles at them and fired gunshots into the air. Around 30% of Montenegros 620,000 people consider themselves Serb.Since Montenegro split from Serbia, pro-independence Montenegrins have actually promoted for a recognized Orthodox Christian church that is separate from the Serbian one.Metropolitan Joanikije stated after the ceremony that “the divisions have been synthetically developed and we have actually done all in our power to assist remove them, but that will take a lot of time.”In a clear demonstration of the sharp political and social divide in Montenegro, President Milo Djukanovic, the designer of the states independence from Serbia, visited Cetinje while the current pro-Serb Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic went to Podgorica to invite the Serbian Patriarch.Krivokapic branded the protests as “a tried terrorist act,” while Djukanovic stated the protesters in Cetinje guarded national interests versus the alleged bid by Serbia to enforce its impact in Montenegro through the church.Djukanovic implicated the government of “ruthlessly serving imperial interests of (Serbia) and the Serbian Orthodox Church, which is a striking fist of Serbian nationalism, all versus Montenegro.

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