Vucic and Serbian Partiarch Irinej express concern over bishop's arrest in Montenegro
President Vucic and Patriarch Irinej showed great concern over the detention of Bishop Ioanikie and the priest of the Serbian Orthodox Church in MontenegroSource: B92
They said that they hope that the people will act peacefully and calmly in these moments when no reasonable person wants any riots and conflicts.
According to the joint statement, the Patriarch recalled that the culmination of the hostile attitude of the state of Montenegro towards the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) began with the adoption of the controversial Law on Freedom of Religion with gross disregard for the SPC's demands for equal position in relation to all other churches and religious communities, including the protection of the rights that church has enjoyed for centuries.
"The fact that the law was adopted with great indignation of our people at the end of last year and early this year, and that the bishop and priests are now being arrested and detained, just proves that the Montenegrin state is persecuting the Serbian Orthodox Church," the statement added.
Vucic gave full support to Serbian Patriarch Irinej and bishops of the Serbian Church in Montenegro in their efforts to solve all the problems they face through dialogue, in a peaceful manner, with full respect for the rights and freedoms of SPC followers.
The President of Serbia said that he was convinced that Bishop Ioanikie and the other arrested priests would be released as soon as possible.