Church of Serbia – 1/3/2020
In the organization of the Old Loznica Church Community, the congregation gathered at the Church of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos in Loznica, on 27th February 2020, thus expressing their protest over the adoption of the Law on Freedom of Religion in Montenegro.
At first, a prayer of supplication to God for the protection of Serbian people and their shrines in Montenegro was officiated by His Grace Lavrentije, Bishop of Sabac, concelebrating it with the clergy of Diocese of Sabac. Afterward, a magnificent procession of the faithful led by His Grace Lavrentije set off through the streets of Loznica while an endless procession of the faithful was chanting troparia and prayers, and the very well-known shout “We won’t give up our shrines” could be often heard. There were lots of children with their parents in the procession as well as school children from elementary and secondary schools. The message was sent that Loznica had always remembered our shrines not only in Montenegro but in all Serbian countries as well.
His Grace Lavrentije addressed to the congregation:
“When we hear people harmoniously shouting ‘We won’t give up our shrines’, that gives us joy, hope, and comfort in our hearts. It’s great joy when Serbian people take care of their shrines and want to save them as our ancestors used to, giving them us an inheritance. It’s a great encouragement for all of these people who mean well to their people, who pray following the examples of their ancestors starting from St. Sava the Serb throughout the whole Serbian history. We’ve come here to remember that a Serb has not only the body but a soul on which much more attention could be paid since the body is transiting, but the soul is eternal”
Presbyter Milos Petrovic, the parish priest of the Church of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos in Loznica, said:
“When we say that we are defending our shrines, we are not defending only the stone, but the shrine within us. That shrine in the heart of our ancestors has built all our shrines. Defending that shrine in yourself you’ll save the Serbiandom and our faith. I am begging our children to cherish the fire lit in you and know that this fire of yours which you have given tonight in Loznica is the same fire in the chest of Prince Lazar, Karageorge and Milos. Let our message from Loznica ‘We won’t give up our shrines’ be sent to Ostrog, Podgorica, Skopje, Pristina, Prizren, Knin, Vukovar…”
The clergy of Old Loznica Church Community has officiated the prayer of supplications for Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija a year-long and during these last two months, they have officiated it for Serbian people in Montenegro.
Written by presbyter Milos Petrovic, Loznica
Translated into English by Sanja Simic de Graaf, Professor