The Prosecutor’s Office of Montenegro decided to detain for 72 hours two priests of the Serbian Orthodox Church, they are charged with violation of restrictions in connection with COVID-19 at the mass meetings of believers held on Monday night, said the Metropolitan of Montenegrin-Primorsk SOC.
In several Montenegrin cities, after a three-month break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, mass prayers and processions of believers against the Law on Religious Associations and in support of the SPCA were held on Monday night. The peaceful protest action in Podgorica was led by Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro-Primorska, who indicated that the processions and processions would continue until the law that threatens the interests of the church and Orthodox believers is repealed or amended.
“Archpriest Mircea Shlivanchanin, secretary of the Cathedral of the Resurrection in Podgorica, was ordered by the decision of the Main Prosecutor’s Office to detain for 72 hours on, as indicated, justified suspicions of violation of health measures … Prosecutor Elena Protich, as in the case of the second priest, Father Zhelko Chalich from Danilovgrad, justified the detention for a possible repetition of the crime,” – said the Metropolitanate
On Monday, pending the decision of the supervisory authority, citizens gathered outside the building of the prosecutor’s office in Podgorica and blocked police cars with the detained clergymen. Archpriest asked the citizens not to interfere with law enforcement agencies. The defence of the detainees stated that they were appealing against the decisions.
Last Thursday, Montenegrin police opened a criminal case against Metropolitan Amfilohije and Metropolitan of Chernogorsk-Primorsk for uncoordinated construction of the monastery facility demolished by authorities. In the morning on Wednesday morning, municipal services under enhanced police protection excavators destroyed the residential building in a convent in honor of one of the most revered in the Balkans Orthodox ascetics – St. Basil Ostrozhsky near the city of Ulcinj.