Balkans: January 17, 2002


IWPR ran a report on divisions in Montenegros Orthodox Christian community concerning Montenegros possible withdrawal (independence) from Yugoslavia. The Montenegrin nationalists tend to support the Montenegrin Orthodox Church (MOC) while Montenegrins who support Yugoslavia (ie, a Serb-Montenegrin union) prefer the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC). Interestingly, Serbian Church authorities do not recognize the MOC as being independent of the SOC, but a subsidiary of the Serbian Church. The IWPR said a small confrontation occurred between 2000 SOC members and 30 MOC members on January 6 (Orthodox Christmas Eve) in the town of Berane. The SOC crowd threatened the MOC group with axes and guns.


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