Political, legal and religious conflict in Montenegro – genesis, course, last clash


Montenegro, nation, ethnic group, conflict, law, politics, religion


Contemporary Montenegro was created as a result of the break-up of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Although this country was for a short time an integral part of Serbian Republic and functioned on the international arena as the so-called new Yugoslavia, Montenegrin society decided in a referendum to proclaim independence in 2006. Despite the fact that the separation took place in a peaceful manner, the frozen conflict between these countries slowly began to intensify. The areas it covered were legal, political and especially religious issues. The dispute reached its climax during the Covid-19 epidemic, when the Montenegrin authorities put to a parliamentary vote a draft of the Law on Religious Freedoms, which would de facto deprive all property of the Serbian Orthodox Church that has been operating in Montenegro for centuries. This led to mass protests by the indigenous Serb population identifying with the Serbian Patriarchate. The regulations against which the supporters of the pro-Serb opposition protested provided that religious communities would have to prove the transfer of ownership of real estate and land they had acquired before 1918, when Montenegro became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes – a state created after the World War I, which was renamed Yugoslavia on January 6, 1929. The main goal of the article is to present the genesis and development of the conflict summarized above, as well as to show its legal, religious and political consequences not only for the Montenegrin state, but indirectly for the entire region. The article consists of two main parts. The first one covers a short description of the Montenegrin nation/regional/ethnic group with the general problem of its identity outlined. The second describes the genesis, essence and recent events of the Serbo-Montenegrin conflict, which is taking place on the legal, political and cultural-religious level. The text includes an introduction and final conclusions.