Month: January, 2020

Associations representing the Serb-Montenegrin national minority support the Metropolis of Montenegro.

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Associations representing the Serbian-Montenegrin national minority such as Moraca-Rozafa and Saint Jovan Vladimir have sent a letter in support of the Metropolitan of Montenegro in its efforts to preserve ownership of Montenegro’s religious sites. The letter states that associations representing Serbian and Montenegrin minorities are observing with anxiety the developments in Montenegro following the adoption of the law on freedom of religion and the legal status of religious communities in Montenegro. In the letter, the support for Metropolis in its efforts to preserve cult objects and the hope in the possibility to find a fair solution in favor of Montenegro’s stability is expressed.

This Law provides for the nationalization of real estates for which the Church cannot prove its ownership prior to 1918. Until that date, Montenegro was not yet an independent state and it was part of the Serbo-Croatian-Slovenian kingdom. Adoption of such a law on religious communities in Montenegro was followed by protests in Podgorica and main Montenegrin cities.

At the end of the letter, the Associations express their wish for a peaceful resolution as soon as possible, thanking the Metropolis for the continuous support it has given them over the past 20 years.

Christmas celebrated at St. Trinity Church in Vraka based on the Julian calendar.

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On Tuesday, January 7, a solemn Christmas liturgy was held at the church of Saint Trinity in the village of Vraka near Shkodra, where Serb-Montenegrin minorities living in Vraka and in the city of Shkodra celebrated the birth of Christ according to the Julian calendar. The Holy Liturgy was served by Protojerej Predrag Shqepanovic, a priest from Podgorica, with the help of the parish priest of Vraka church, Ivan Popovic. Besides the believers, in the holy liturgy, representatives of associations of the Serb-Montenegrin national minority that exert their activity in Shkodra, such as St. Jovan Vladimir and Moraca-Rozafa, were also present. In this ceremony, Mrs. Dragana Vucicevic who holds the duty of First Consul at the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia in Tirana together with her husband and children were also present.

The day before, in the same church the fire was lit and the service was held by Father Ivan Popovic, and according to tradition, the representative of every tribe belonging to the Montenegrin minority placed a Yule log on the Christmas holy fire.

At the end of the holy Christmas liturgy, Predrag Shqepanovic, while congratulating the believers, said that since all of us had the same God-Father, we are all brothers, regardless of nationality. “A great poet has said, ‘All people on earth are brothers. If God is our father, then all humans are brothers. It is a great pleasure to be in the Albanian land, which always welcomes us. God bless you, your families and all the people of good will,” said Predrag Shqepanovic.

Afterwards, packages containing gifts were distributed to the youngest as well as calendars for the faithful. At the end, a solemn lunch followed, which passed under a fraternal atmosphere.

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