Serbia refuses to register Montenegrin Church

Belgrade, Serbia - Belgrade has rejected a demand by the Montenegrin Orthodox Church (CPC) to be registered in Serbia.

The Ministry of Religion made the decision, and explained it by saying that "from the point of view of Orthodox churches the CPC is not recognized," and that it will "not interfere in canonic relations between various Churches."

The CPC representative in Serbia has reacted by sending a protest letter to both President Boris Tadić and Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica, seeking annulment of the ministry's decision.

Representatives of the Krstaš association, gathering Montenegrins living in Serbia, say that this decision is attempting to drive them into a religious ghetto, and call for it to be reversed.

"All the relevant international institutions and Euro-Atlantic region governments will be notified about this attempt to ban the Montenegrin Church," the association said, and added that should the decision remain in place, it would be a serious indicator of religious intolerance and the attitude that a part of the Belgrade administration has towards ethnic minorities.

The DSS-NS coalition is in charge of the Ministry of Religion.

The Krstaš organization expects "active support" from official Podgorica.