Volatile Election in Montenegro Focuses on Religious Issues

Composite image by Anderson Graphics.

Composite image by Anderson Graphics.

Robert Hancock, Staff Reporter

In late August, Milo Dukanovic, President and head of the Democratic Party of Socialists was rejected  in favor of Zdravko Krivokapic, current prime minister-designate, by a small margin in the Montenegro parliament.

Montenegro is a small Balkan country on the Adriatic coast, near Italy.

This is a major shift in party policies, because the former ruling party held control for decades. The former party in power was talking about possible seizure of property belonging to the Serbian Orthodox Church.

According to Christianity Today, as much as three-quarters of the country’s population of 620,000 identify as Orthodox Christians; 70 percent of these belong to the traditional Serbian church. This election was seen by many as a backlash of religious people against the state. Some people who had never voted before in their lives felt it important to participate.

Corruption on the part of the DPS and a push for the controversial bill which required churches to provide evidence of ownership for all churches and monasteries built prior to 1918.

This election is being watched with interest by Christians all over the world, including in the United States, concerned with how churches are treated by governments.