Holy Synod Statement

Press release of the Holy Synod of Bishops

The Holy Synod of Bishops, at their session held on June 25, 2020, strongly  condemned the continued persecution of the Church by the Montenegrin authorities, manifested by the latest summoning of His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral to the Security Administrative Centre in Podgorica for questioning, where he had been detained for six hours, as well as by arresting a number of priests and faithful people, thereat constantly threatening by deportation of those priests who are not Montenegrin citizens.

The Church in Montenegro and its bishops, clergy and monks, along with the faithful have been defending their shrines and completely justifiably demanding the necessary amendments to the disputed Law on Freedom of Religion, avoiding any politicization of the issue.

Press release of the Holy Synod of Bishops

The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church strongly condemns the latest persecution of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro and last night's arrest of His Grace Bishop Joanikije of Budimlye-Niksic and seven priests by the Montenegrin authorities, that  under the false pretext of fighting the coronavirus, have been using the opportunity to confront the Serbian Orthodox Church and her faithful people.

The Holy Synod of Bishops calls upon the authorities in Montenegro to stop persecuting the Church and to finally start behaving in accordance with the norms of civilization, according to which free confession of faith is one of the most important rights of every individual.

At the same time, the Holy Synod of Bishops expresses great concern over the aggravation of the situation in Montenegro and hopes that the Serbian people, as before, will act peacefully and will not respond to provocations by the then authorities that obviously want a conflict so as to accuse the Orthodox Church and her believers.

It is clear to anyone who is reasonable and well-meaning that sobriety and prudence should be preserved in these moments, and above all we should pray to God that peace prevails in Montenegro and that the innocent Bishop Joanikije and his priests be released from custody immediately.

The Holy Synod of Bishops
of the Serbian Orthodox Church

Communique of the Holy Synod of Bishops

Communique of the Holy Synod of Bishops

From its session, held today, on April 13 of this year, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church addressed the state leadership of the Republic of Serbia with a proposal and a request to approve the suspension of the curfew imposed due to the pandemic of coronavirus – on Easter, from 5 to 10 o'clock in the morning, so that Orthodox Christians who are not in isolation and self-isolation could participate in the Morning service and the Liturgy on their greatest feast day.

At the same session, expressions of brotherly love and solidarity were sent to Metropolitan  Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral, and of discontent at the actions of the Montenegrin authorities towards him.

From the Office of the Holy Synod of Bishops

Communique of the Holy Synod of Bishops

Communique of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church

Regarding the latest recommendations of the Government of Serbia, in order to suppress the spread of the COVID-19 virus, "religious services in churches and in the open air are to be performed without the presence of the faithful", with the clarification that the aim of these recommendations is a safe way of worship and the protection of public health, all the while enabling worship to continue, we inform all our clergy, monastics, and faithful that the Serbian Orthodox Church will implement these recommendations, as it has already done in those countries of the Serbian diaspora and other regions where such protective measures have been taken a few days ago. The Church will not interrupt the serving of the Divine Liturgy or cease communing the faithful, because this is a matter which cannot be debated: it is the basis of our faith in the Living God. Specifically, this means that during the services in the church there is to be a priest (or priests) with a deacon, chanter, and an altar server (according to the need and circumstance). 

Communique of the Holy Synod of Bishops

Communique of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church

On the third week of Great Lent (Sunday of the Veneration of the Holy Cross) the Divine Liturgy was served in all churches of the Serbian Orthodox Church, in compliance with all instructions being required for protection from the COVID-19 virus (no more than five people inside the church, the faithful standing in front and on the side of the church to practice social distancing, etc.). However, uninvited guests from well-known anti-church and anti-Serbian circles appeared, and as a result their media and the media partial to them began an orchestrated and slanderous chase against the Serbian Orthodox Church.