PODGORICA, Montenegro — Protesters clashed with hundreds of riot police in the aged capital of Montenegro on Saturday, setting up blockades of tires and super rocks sooner than the inauguration of the recent head of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the dinky Balkan nation.
On Saturday, hundreds of protesters confronted the police in Cetinje and temporarily removed one of the most necessary protective metallic fences spherical the monastery where the inauguration of Mitropolitan Joanikije is supposed to happen. Montenegrin train RTCG TV stated the protesters broke through a police blockade on the doorway to Cetinje and threw stones at them, shouting “This is Montenegro!” and “This is no longer Serbia!”
Waving red Montenegrin flags with a double-headed eagle, protesters then location up road obstacles with trash containers, car tires and super rocks to forestall church and train dignitaries from coming to the inauguration on Sunday.
Montenegrins remain deeply divided over their nation’s ties with neighboring Serbia and the Serbian Orthodox Church, which is the nation’s dominant non secular institution. Around 30% of Montenegro’s 620,000 individuals imagine themselves Serb.
Hundreds protested final month in Cetinje, demanding that the inauguration be held in totally different places. The church has refused to interchange its plans.
Since Montenegro split from Serbia, pro-independence Montenegrins cling advocated for a known Orthodox Christian church that is turn into independent from the Serbian one.
Montenegrin authorities cling instructed calm during the weekend ceremonies, which begin with the advent Saturday evening of the pinnacle of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Porfirije, in Podgorica, Montenegro’s capital.
Porfirije is made up our minds to abet Sunday’s inauguration of Joanikije, whose predecessor because the church’s chief in Montenegro, Amfilohije, died in October after contracting COVID-19.
Illustrating the deep ethnic divide, thousands of individuals waving Serbian flags gathered in front of the main Serbian Orthodox church in Podgorica on Saturday to welcome the patriarch. Many had been bused to the capital from Serbia.
The Serbian Orthodox Church played a key role in demonstrations final year that helped drop a a protracted-ruling pro-Western government in Montenegro. The recent government now includes staunchly pro-Serb and pro-Russian events.
Montenegro’s old authorities led the nation to independence from Serbia and defied Russia to join NATO in 2017. Montenegro moreover is seeking to turn into a European Union member.