Montenegrin Orthodox Church
The Cetinje Monastery in the old royal capital of Montenegro. Photo: Shutterstock
The main opposition Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS, accused the government of allowing "theft" and of serving the interests of the Serbian Church - with which it has often conflcted - and said it will file a criminal complaint.
Metropolitan Amfilohije, the Serbian Orthodox Church's most senior bishop in Montenegro, has called on citizens not to vote for those who supported the contested Freedom of Religion law in coming elections.
During a Church-led protest against the law on Sunday, Bishop Amfilohije also again urged the government to withdraw the law which parliament passed late last year.
"This law de facto and de jure forms the legal framework for the nationalization of the property of the Serbian Orthodox Church on the territory of Montenegro", Pilsel said in Ljubljana at a lecture entitled "Relations between the state and churches/religious communities in the Western Balkans", he held in the International Institute for Middle-East and Balkan Studies - IFIMES.
Montenegro's General Prosecutors Office has launched an investigation into the leak of a telephone conversation between what appeared to be two senior police officers on January 6, in which one said Serbian Orthodox Church believers rallying over Christmas would "get their asses kicked if they make trouble during the church gathering".