Disinfo: A coup is taking place against the Church in Montenegro


A coup is being prepared in Montenegro against the church. Orthodox believers oppose the “Law on Religion Freedom”, whose democratic name hides the illegitimacy of schismatic groups. The new legislation will allow the state to confiscate all possessions of the canonical Serbian Orthodox Church aiming to its subsequent transfer to the unrecognised schismatic Montenegrin Orthodox Church. Despite the rejection of Orthodox believers, authorities insist on adopting the law. The ruling Democratic Party of Socialists is legally involved in its promotion, and its leader Milo Djukanovic who, as Prime Minister, ensured that the US’s will to integrate Montenegro into NATO was enforced.


However unpopular it might be among some social sectors in Montenegro, the adoption of the so-called Law on Freedom of Religion or Belief and the Legal Status of Religious Communities is no “coup”. It was approved by the democratically-elected Montenegrin Parliament by a majority of lawmakers, and it was included in the political programme of the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists as part of the promotion of Montenegro’s autonomy.

The new regulation will not allow the confiscation of “every possession” of the Serbian Orthodox Church, as claimed. Under the law, religious communities in the tiny Adriatic state would need to prove property ownership from before 1918, when predominantly Orthodox Christian Montenegro joined the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, the predecessor of the now-defunct Yugoslavia. Though this would allow them to seize some, not all, of the properties whose previous ownership can’t be accredited, Montenegrin authorities repeatedly denied allegations that they intend to take any. The reference to NATO is an attempt to increase rejection of Montenegro’s ruling party among pro-Serbian readers.

Russian disinformation on Montenegro is part of the renewed attempts of the Kremlin to influence the country. You can see other examples of these false narratives, such as NATO's efforts to destroy the Orthodox Church in Montenegro, the use of this country as a base to create the Greater Albania, the NATO-led destruction of the Montenegrin army or its accession to the Atlantic Alliance as a plot against Russia.


  • Reported in: Issue 182
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 26/12/2019
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: Montenegro
  • Keywords: Orthodox Church


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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