Montenegro adopts law on religion amid protests by pro-Serbs

Alsiasi_Agencies

The Parliament of Montenegro adopted a contested law on religious rights after chaotic scenes in the assembly that resulted in the detention of all pro-Serb opposition legislators.

The vote on Friday followed a day of nationwide protests by supporters of the Serbian Orthodox Church who say the law will strip the church of its property, including medieval monasteries and churches. The government has denied that.

Trying to prevent the vote, the pro-Serb legislators hurled what appeared to be a tear gas canister or a firecracker, and tried to destroy microphones in the parliament hall.

Plain-clothes police wearing gas masks intervened, arresting 24 people, including 18 opposition legislators.

“We are ready to die for our church and that’s what we are demonstrating tonight,” opposition leader Andrija Mandic said shortly after midnight during the tumultuous session.

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