President of Serbia Boris Tadic


Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica




Dear Mr President and Prime Minister,


I wish to inform you that Serbia’s Minister of Religion, Mr Radomir Naumov, has signed a decision banning the registration of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church (MOC) in Serbia, on 22 November, 2007.


I am certain that you are equally surprised with this incomprehensible decision of the Minister, which runs contrary to constitutional and legal norms on the freedom of religion and which negates the basic rights of 70,000 ethnic Montenegrins in Serbia to register their own Church. Hereby, I remind you that Montenegrins account for practically 1% of the total population of Serbia according to official statistics.


As this unfortunate decision of Serbia’s Ministry of Religion could easily be misinterpreted as an attempt by the Belgrade authorities to introduce repressive measures against national minorities, we are certain that you will urgently intervene to ensure that this decision is reverted. Your help is needed to prevent the banishment of thousands of MOC faithful into the first religious ghetto in the Serbian state. I am confident that it is evident to you that official Belgrade has absolutely no chance to convince the international community of its ability to guarantee human rights to minorities, if this repression against the MOC faithful and our Church is not lifted.


We are therefore confident that you share with us awareness of the importance of the well-being and freedom of operation of MOC in Serbia, especially taking into consideration your tireless lobbying for certain categories of rights of Montenegrins who live in Serbia, in previous years during the existence of the state union of Serbia and Montenegro. Hence, I am confident that we can expect your energetic reaction in the protection of the religious rights of Montenegrins in Serbia. The MOC faithful in Serbia are confident that our two biggest allies in our fight for freedom of religion are the President and Prime Minister of Serbia and their firm respect of the Constitution.


If, nevertheless, the ban instituted by Minister Naumov is not abolished by January 20, 2008, Montenegrins and MOC followers in Serbia will be forced to resort to all available domestic and international legal instruments to fight this ban on religious freedoms, as well as to inform international institutions and organizations about the Serbian government’s failure to guarantee religious freedoms to our community.


Unfortunately, because of the seriousness of the situation, we are forced to report this irresponsible gesture of Serbia’s Minister of Religion to the Government and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro. Furthermore, details of this unconstitutional ban on MOC are being forwarded to international organizations, institutions and governments of the Euro-Atlantic region, as the ban is a worrying indicator of growing religious intolerance and unfriendly attitudes towards national minorities on the part of a segment of the Belgrade administration in a delicate moment for Serbian democracy.




                                                                      Nenad Stevovic

                        President of the Association of Ethnic Montenegrins „Krstaš“


                        Official Representative of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church in Serbia









Kindly find below an attached facsimile of the illegal ban of MOC signed by the Minister of Religion, Mr Radomir Naumov.