The reaction of the Bishop of Banat – a region covering parts of Serbia, Romania and Hungary – Nikanor Bogunovic, has been provoked by Belgrade’s hosting of EuroPride, which celebrates the rights of the LGBTQ+ community across Europe.
The prelate of the Serbian Orthodox Church vowed to “curse” all those who attend the festival, which starts on September 12 and will end on September 18.
“I will curse all those who organize and participate in such a thing”, he said in a statement on August 11, according to Balkan Insight.
“I can do so much. If I had a gun, I would use it, I would use this power if I had it, but I don’t have it,” he continued.
In a video posted on YouTube, the bishop can be seen standing in front of a church and addressing the faithful. “EuroPride participants”, he can be heard telling them, “will come to Belgrade and desecrate the city of Belgrade, the holy Serbian city.” “We raise our voice against such people,” insisted Nikanor Bogunovic.
The Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic gave his own interpretation of the bishop’s hate speech, saying he had another target: the country’s homosexual prime minister, Ana Brnabic, who was elected in 2017.
“Bishop Nikanor has insulted himself and our church, humiliated our church, much more than Ana Brnabic or anyone else,” he said in his comments to the Prva TV network.