In Niksic, Montenegro, a great church-people’s assembly was held on Saturday, 21 December 2019, when thousands of the faithful gathered around the relics of Saint Basil of Ostrog requesting a withdrawal of a draft of the discriminatory Bill on Freedom of Religion and Legal Status of Churches and Religious Communities.
The Liturgy at the Cathedral church of St. Basil of Ostrog in presence of the relics of the Saint was officiated by Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral and Bishops: Theodosije of Raska and Prizren, Athanasije of Mileseva, Joanikije of Budimlje-Niksic, Sergije of Bihac-Petrovac, Dimitrije of Zahumlje-Herzegovina, Metodije of Dioclea, Atanasije retired Bishop of Zahumlje-Herzegovina with many priests and monks.
Bishop Joanikije held a liturgical sermon after the Gospel reading.
Following the Liturgy, Metropolitan Amfilohije addressed the congregation and said that they all gathered on that day in the Cathedral church of Niksic in front of the shrine of Saint Basil, around his sacred relics, not to desecrate them, as the ungodly say.
“This is precisely what say those whose spiritual ancestors destroyed the Tvrdos Monastery. These modern fools want to take away chuches for themselves. Even the Turks didn’t do what these ungodly people want – to rob the churches and give them to the sects. This group of the rich, ex-communists robbed all companies and they want also to rob the churches now. No way”, said Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral.
Then the following messages were read: a letter from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the President of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic, in which he is warning him not to discriminate against the Church in Montenegro; a decision of the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church on this issue; a recently published letter from Pope Francis to Serbian Patriarch Irinej; a support message of the Chilandar Monastery to the Assembly and finally a Proclamation and a Covenant of the Assembly for the defense of the Church in Montenegro.
Source: Serbian Orthodox Church