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SOC priests expelled from Montenegro in the background of the request for support of the Russian Federation

The Montenegrin authorities decided to send several priests of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC), while the President of Serbia Alexander Vucic, Patriarch Irinej asked Russia for help in protecting the interests of the Church, reported the press service of the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Seaside SPTS.

Earlier Thursday, during the visit of foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Belgrade, the Serbian President told reporters that SOC is under threat and it needs the support of Russia. Patriarch Irinej at a meeting with Russian foreign Minister also noted that the interests of the Serbian Church in need of protection. Lavrov said that Moscow is always trying to support the clergy of the Orthodox churches to carry tranquility and peace, including in the Balkans.

"Archpriest-stavrofor Sasha Janice, the Bishop's vicar in Pljevlja today awarded the decision of the border police that have until 26 June to leave Montenegro entry ban of three years. The decision he was awarded after three hours spent in the office of the border police," - said in the Archdiocese, noting that in front of the police the priest was supported by "many people".

A citizen of Serbia Archpriest anich lives in Pljevlja, where is the temple of St. George with his wife and two daughters. He is charged with lack of work permits.

To protect from the impending expulsion of another priest SPTS of Protopriest Sinisa of Silica, a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the city Oline in the South of Montenegro citizens Thursday gathered, according to Metropolitan, over a thousand signatures, including 70 from local Albanians.

In several cities in Montenegro, after a three-month break due to pandemic COVID-19 on the night on Monday held mass prayers and processions of the faithful against the law on religious associations and in support of SPTS. Peaceful protest rally in Podgorica is headed by Metropolitan of Montenegro and the coastlands Amfilohije, who pointed out that parades and processions will continue until the cancellation or correction of the law, threatens the interests of the Church and Orthodox believers.

In December 2019, the Parliament of neighboring Serbia Montenegro, by majority of votes of the ruling coalition approved the law "On freedom of conscience and religion and the legal status of religious communities", which caused a strong public reaction and protests. The SOC claim that after adoption of law will begin the withdrawal of Serbian ecclesiastical property and its transfer unrecognized Montenegrin Orthodox world "Autocephalous" Church.