UOC-MP wants to prosecute the employees of the Ukrainian Embassy in Montenegro
The UOC-MP was outraged by the comment of the Ukrainian Embassy in Montenegro regarding the visit of Metropolitan Onufriy to this country and demanded to penalize Ukrainian diplomats.
This is said in the statement of the Department for External Church Relations of the UOC MP
As reported, Primate of the UOC-Moscow Patriarchate Onufriy is now in Montenegro. In this country, he came to support representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC), who oppose the law on freedom of religion, adopted by the Parliament of this state in December 2014.
On the evening of February 27, Metropolitan Onufriy made a speech on the square of the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Podgorica.
The Ukrainian Embassy in Montenegro responded to the international activities of the head of the UOC-MP. On their Facebook page, the diplomats published a message in which, among other things, they stated that Metropolitan Onufriy, commenting on the internal affairs of Montenegro, "afflicts damage on the relations of the Ukrainian and Montenegrin people".
Russian Orthodox Church (DECR) representatives did not like that diplomats called the Primate of the UOC-MP in this message as "Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church in Kyiv" and "a high-ranking Church official of the Russian Orthodox Church".
The clergy of the UOC-MP was also outraged that Ukrainian diplomats published an article on their Facebook page about their Church and comment from the OCU about the arrival of the Metropolitan in Montenegro.
"The Embassy posts an article critical of the UOC by the journalist Božidar Proročić on its own Facebook page, in which the author actually repeats the theses of the previous message from the Embassy. It also became known that the Embassy shared a recent comment to the Montenegrin media about another religious organization, namely the OCU, on the arrival of his Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy to this country. Information began to appear in the media that similar texts are also being sent from the Ukrainian Embassy in the Republic of Serbia," the UOC-MP's Department for external Church relations said in a statement.
According to the UOC-MP, the visit of Metropolitan Onufriy to Montenegro does not pursue any political goals and "as the head of the largest Orthodox religious association in Ukraine, he has the right to represent it at all levels, including international, and in all organizations, regardless of ownership and subordination".
The Department for External Church Relations of the UOC-MP, therefore, expects explanations from the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry regarding the comment of the Ukrainian Embassy in Montenegro and demands that officials of the Ukrainian Embassy in Montenegro be held criminally liable for inciting religious hatred.
As you know, the Primate of the UOC MP Onufriy is staying in Montenegro until February 29. On February 27, together with Metropolitan Amphilochius of Montenegro and the Littoral, he led an evening service in the Church of the Resurrection of Christ, and subsequently took part in the procession and made a speech near the church.
As RISU has already reported, it is not the first time that representatives of the UOC-MP take part in joint events with representatives of the Serbian Church
In January, a delegation of the UOC-MP led by Bishop Viktor (Kotsaba) of Baryshiv and Archpriest Mykolai Danylevych, Deputy Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the UOC-MP, took part in anti-government protests in Montenegro against the law on freedom of religion. This law was adopted by the Montenegrin Parliament on December 27, 2019. it is aimed at reducing the influence of the Serbian Church in Montenegro and provides for the nationalization of churches built before 1918.
Mass protests in support of the Serbian Church burst out in the country, and a curator from the GRU of the Russian Federation was even noticed at a rally in Kosovo. In the information field, Russia supports the Serbian Church, and the desire of Montenegrins to have their own Church is explained by "aggressive nationalism".
Montenegro's President Djukanovic accused the Serbian Church of supporting the idea of a greater Serbia, that is, separatism: "They believe that Montenegro was created by mistake."
In mid-January, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic spoke of the “rightlessness situation" of Serbs in Montenegro and the need to protect them.