The United Nations and the European Union have expressed concern over rising tensions in Montenegro based on religious intolerance over the enthronement of Metropolitan Joanikije of Montenegro and Litoral this weekend in Cetinje.
“The United Nations (UN) is concerned about rising tensions and the rhetoric of divisions ahead of the coronation of the Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Litoral of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) on Sunday in Cetinje,” said Peter Lundberg, UN Resident Coordinator. in Montenegro, he said today.
“We call on everyone, especially those in positions of authority and influence, to make a direct contribution to calming tensions and building trust. As a UN member state, Montenegro has shown a strong commitment to “Inclusion, respect for different opinions and the protection of human rights. This is the moment. to remind us all of the importance of accepting diversity and mutual respect in the spirit of these common values,” Lundberg said.
European Commission spokeswoman Ana Pisonero Hernandez said on the occasion of the recent events in Montenegro that “encouraging ethnic or religious divisions and intolerance is dangerous for the security and well-being of all citizens”.
In Brussels, they stress that “a broad cross-party political dialogue, aimed at overcoming divisions, is key to maintaining stability in the country and progress on the road to the EU”.
“Now is the time for all decision-makers in Montenegro to demonstrate their commitment to the European path and European values, promoting peace and tolerance and working together constructively, despite all political differences, for the benefit of the citizens and of the country’s European future, “Pisonero told the Montenegrin Public Service.
She emphasizes that freedom of religion, tolerance and respect for fundamental rights are fundamental values of the EU.
Asked if they believe the coronation ceremony should be held in Cetinje, despite the tense situation, the EC said “it is not up to the EU to comment on the place of inauguration of the leaders of the religious community in Montenegro.”
According to the program of the coronation ceremony, the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Porfirije, is to come to Cetinje on Saturday, and Metropolitan Joanikije is to officially take the throne on Sunday. For now, there is no announcement that this could be postponed or relocated. Opponents of the Serbian Orthodox Church and supporters of the unknown Montenegrin Orthodox Church have announced they will prevent the coronation by considering the Cetinje monastery as their property.