Orthodox bishop in Serbia would use weapons against gay parades


Southern Europe


Photo EPA, Andrej Cukic

A Serbian Orthodox bishop has aggressively criticised the Europride, a European LGBT event to be held in Belgrade in September. “If I had a gun, I would use it”, he said.

Nikanor Bogunovic, the prelate of the Serbian Orthodox Church, vowed to “curse” all who attend the festival, in the week from September 12th. “I will curse all those who organise and participate in such a thing”, he said according to the Orthodox Times. Bogunovic is the Serbian Orthodox bishop of Banat, a diocese in north-eastern Serbia, bordering Romania and Hungary.

In a video posted on YouTube, the bishop stands in front of a church and addresses the faithful. “EuroPride participants”, he can be heard telling them, “will come to Belgrade and desecrate the city of Belgrade, the holy Serbian city.” “We raise our voice against such people,” insisted Bogunovic.

In a reaction, the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said he understands the position of the Serbian Orthodox Church. He noted that official permission to hold a gay pride parade has not yet been issued.


Serbian President Aleksander Vucic reacted with dismay. According to him, the bishop aims at another target: Ana Brnabic, the Prime Minister of Serbia. She openly admits to being a lesbian.

“The bishop has insulted and humiliated himself and our Church much more than Ana Brnabic or anyone else,” said the President.

Prime Minister Brnabic called for national unity in response to the words of the bishop. “Now we have to fight for Serbia. We cannot afford to fight among ourselves”, Brnabic said. According to news portal MSN, the Prime Minister wanted to point out that the efforts of all Serbs should be focused on the negotiations with Kosovo. The former Serbian province declared independence in 2008. Recently, disputes arose between the countries over several policies.


On August 14th, thousands of people marched through the streets of Belgrade, protesting against the planned LGBT event. The protest was organised by the far-right Zaventnici (Oathkeepers) party and several Orthodox and nationalist organisations. According to the Union of Orthodox Journalists, protesters chanted several lines like “We will not allow a gay parade and the occupation of the West” and “Hands of our children”.

According to Zaventnici MP Milica Dzhurdzhevich, the protest was “Dignified, peaceful and Christian”. She further stated that “the people do not want Euro-garbage in Serbia. This is a signal. We continue to move forward together”.

Bogunovic, who has been bishop since 2003, often makes controversial statements. At the beginning of the pandemic, for example, he called on the faithful to ignore the restrictions on attending church services. According to him, the Church was “the best hospital” and Holy Communion “the best medicine”.

Earlier, the Orthodox bishop Photius of Zvornitsko-Tuzla expressed criticism towards the coming Europride as well. The so-called Vladyka spoke about a “new reality” being imposed around the world” that “destroys everything traditional.”



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