The rally in Belgrade comes despite a decision by Serbian authorities to cancel a pan-European LGBTQ event next month.
Thousands of Orthodox Christians demonstrated in Belgrade to warn against holding EuroPride despite Serbian authorities’ decision to cancel next month’s European gathering of the LGBTQ community.
Carrying icons, crosses and religious flags, demonstrators marched through the city center as they prayed and chanted before gathering outside Saint Sava’s Cathedral.
On Saturday, President Aleksandar Vucic announced that he had decided, in consultation with the government, to postpone or cancel the Pride Parade.
Vucic said it was not possible to “handle everything” at a time when Serbia was “under pressure from all kinds of problems”, stressing that Recent tensions With the former province of Kosovo and concerns about energy and food.
But the EuroPride organizers promised to keep marching.
“The Pride will go ahead as planned on September 17,” said Marko Mihajlovic, Belgrade Pride coordinator.
Serbian Orthodox Archbishop Nikanor, addressing the crowd on Sunday, hailed the authorities’ decision to cancel “the desecration of our country, our church and our family.”
For him, it was an “abnormality” that should be treated as being in Russia President Vladimir Putin – which he called “the czar of the planet,” according to a video on the Glas Javnosti news site.
In 2013, Russia passed a law banning LGBT “propaganda” targeting minors, punishable by fines and imprisonment.
Bishop Nicanor said the faithful were ready to take to the streets again “to put themselves before those who intend to destroy the values of Serbia”.
Violence marred the first two parades in Belgrade Pride, in 2001 and 2010. The show has been organized regularly since 2014 but with a large law enforcement presence.
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