European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rejected the request to ban Montenegro from implementing its Law on Religion Freedoms until the Constitutional Court rules on the law’s constitutionality or until a deal with the Serbian Orthodox Church is concluded, the Government of Montenegro said on Sunday.
The request with the Strasbourg court was filed by the Radic law firm from Belgrade.
Montenegrin Government’s Public Relations Office said the law firm had filed the motion in late January, asking for a temporary measure that would ban the Montenegrin state bodies from implementing the Law on Religious Freedoms, until the Constitutional Court of Montenegro assesses the law’s constitutionality or until the state institutions reach an agreement with the Serbian Orthodox Church.
European court dismissed this request and has informed Montenegro’s representative in Strasbourg about the decision, the Government said.
The Government assessed that the court decision is “yet another evidence that the objections towards the Law on Religious Freedoms are entirely of political and ideological nature, and have no grounds in the domestic or the international law.”
Montenegrin Parliament adopted the law at the end of 2019, which was strongly objected by the Serbian Orthodox Church, whose authorities find it “anti-church, discriminatory” and the preparation to “seize” the Church’s property.