The government of Montenegro welcomed the decision of the Serbian Orthodox Church not to hold religious services for Easter taking into consideration the ban on public gatherings.
Measures aimed at curbing the coronavirus spread include bans on all public gatherings, while religious ceremonies can only be held without the presence of believers.
In Montenegro, authorities have banned the presence of faithful in the churches since March 22. Metropolitan Amfilohije and priests who violated the ban were arrested on April 12.
A statement from the Metropolitan’s office said, “Some state authorities exploit the restrictive measures.” It is added that “when the situation (regarding the coronavirus outbreak) returns to normal, the protests will begin again.”
The protests, which have been going on since the end of 2019 from tens of thousands of pilgrims twice a week, have been against the law on religious communities.
The Serbian Orthodox Church argued that the state of Montenegro wanted to seize its assets, which the government denied.