Conclusions: Freedom of Religion or Belief in Montenegro

The participants of the international academic conference “Freedom of Religion or Belief in Montenegro“ have carefully examined and considered the drafting process and current material content of the draft “Law on Freedom of Religion”[1], first proposed by the Government of Montenegro on 30 July 2015.

On the basis of these deliberations and convinced, that freedom is endowed on the human person not only as a secular right, but also as an eternal gift from God, and as such integral to human nature, they agreed to emphasize the following:

Traditional procession in Berane on St. George’s

Traditional procession in Berane on St. George’s
Traditional procession in Berane on St. George’s
Traditional procession in Berane on St. George’s
Traditional procession in Berane on St. George’s

Traditional procession on St. George feat-day led by His Eminnce Mark, Archbishop of Berlin and of all Germany, and the Diocesan Bishop Joanikije of Budimlje-Nikšić, in honor and glory of the Holy Great Martyr and Victorious George, went along the city of Berane, Montenegro.

The procession with a huge number of faithful people, clergy, monastics and guests of this ceremony started from the church-yard of the Cathedral monastery church of the Diocese of Budimlje-Nikšić, an ancient Nemanjic endowment, the Đurđevi Stupovi monastery, and while chanting troparia and reading Gospel portions, the festal procession passed through Berane and returned to the monastery itself.

Remembering the victims of Ustasha genocide

Remembering the victims of Ustasha genocide
Remembering the victims of Ustasha genocide
Remembering the victims of Ustasha genocide
Remembering the victims of Ustasha genocide

A memorial day for the victims of the Jasenovac camp, where 700,000 Serbs, Jews, Roma and anti-fascists were killed. At the event, organized by the governments of the Republics of Srpska and Serbia, it was announced that a joint Memorial Center was to be built in memory of victims of the Jasenovac Golgotha.

-This is a sufficient crime for all people to the end of the world and time, but the spirit of the Ustasha is, unfortunately, still alive, was a message from Donja Gradina, Bosnia, which is a part of the concentration system “Jasenovac”, Croatia. Serbian Patriarch Irinej reminded also of the fact that within a period of longer than four years more people were murdered in Jasenovac than the Turks had killed during the hundreds of years of their rule in this region.

Mr. Ahmed Shaheed: Freedom of Religion or Belief

Mr. Ahmed Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief

A very warm welcome to you all in Montenegro at this Roundtable on Freedom of Religion or Belief! My apologies for not being be able to be with you in person at this
roundtable. I know you have all undertaken an important endeavour today, coming together, to assist relevant stakeholders to understand better the right to freedom of religion or belief and to review the current draft law on the Legal Position of Churches and Religious Communities prepared by the Government of Montenegro in 2015. I have also heard the concerns of various religious communities regarding the re-registration requirements under the draft law, which are cumbersome in process and discriminatory in nature. Besides, there is genuine fear that the draft law may further restrict many aspects of the right to manifest one’s religion or belief.

The Holy Assembly of Bishops convened

At the proposal of His Holiness the Serbian Patriarch Irinej, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church decided on the basis of Article 59 of the Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church to convene the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church to its regular annual meeting.

The Holy Assembly of Bishops will liturgically commence on May 9, 2019, with the Holy Archhierarchal Liturgy and the rite of the Invocation of the Holy Spirit in the church of the Ascension of the Lord in the Monastery of Zica, where the working sessions will take place in the afternoon of the same day as well as on the next day, on May 10th. The sessions will continue on May 11, 2019 at the Patriarchal Palace in Belgrade.

The Serbian Patriarch after two centuries in the Gomionica monastery

The Serbian Patriarch after two centuries in the Gomionica monastery
The Serbian Patriarch after two centuries in the Gomionica monastery
The Serbian Patriarch after two centuries in the Gomionica monastery
The Serbian Patriarch after two centuries in the Gomionica monastery

His Holiness the Serbian Patriarch Irinej celebrated the Holy Archhierarchal Liturgy in the Gomionica Monastery, the Diocese of Banja Luka (photo gallery), on the feast of the Holy Great Martyr and Victorious George, May 6, 2019.

In the prayerful presence of the His Grace Bishop Jefrem of Banja Luka,  the Patriarch was concelebrated by Protosyncellos Platon, the principal of the Monastery of Gomilica, hieromonk  Methody and the protodeacon Radojica Zagran. The church was full of the faithful people, and nuns of the Monastery of Gomionica sang responses. The Holy Liturgy was attended by the mayor of Banja Luka Igor Radojčić.

The Prizren Cathedral celebrated its Patron saint

The Prizren Cathedral celebrated its Patron saint
The Prizren Cathedral celebrated its Patron saint
The Prizren Cathedral celebrated its Patron saint
The Prizren Cathedral celebrated its Patron saint

The Cathedral Church of the Holy Great Martyr George celebrated solemnly its patron saint by the Divine Liturgy officiated by the Bishop of Raska-Prizren Theodosije with some clergymen of this Diocese.

A choir of pupils of the Prizren Theological Seminary enhanced the solemnity by their chanting. Quite a number of priests from Prizren, guests, abbots, abbesses, monks and priests of the Diocese of Raska-Prizren attended this Liturgy.