January 3, 1997 in Nation/World

Orthodox Leaders Denounce Milosevic

Associated Press

Serbian Orthodox Church leaders sided with the opposition in the country’s political struggle for the first time Thursday, accusing President Slobodan Milosevic of destroying the country and risking war to stay in power.

The church statement encouraged opposition leaders, who for the past six weeks have drawn tens of thousands of people into the streets to demand that Milosevic reinstate the results of Nov. 17 local elections won by opposition candidates.

The daily protests are the strongest challenge to nearly a decade of Milosevic’s authoritarian rule, and the support of the Serbian Orthodox Church makes the protests all the stronger.

Openly taking sides for the first time, the church accused Milosevic of having “trampled over our glorious history … name, dignity, spiritual and national values, brought the nation and the country to total collapse, and made people beggars.”

The church statement was its harshest ever against the president.

© Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Get stories like this in a free daily email

Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus