Intolerance Against Christians in Serbia from 2008 to 2011: List of Incidents

Country: Serbia

Date of incident: February 28, 2011

Report on Religious Freedom Issues in Serbia: Read here a list of incidents of intolerance against Christians from November 2008 to February 2011.

2008 Late December – Evangelical Church in Kragujevac was damaged by thrown stones. Two windows and the church name panel were targeted. 2009 January 8 – members of the “Obraz” (nationalist youth organization in Serbia) tried to stop a delivery of Samaritan Purse packages at a Pentecostal church in Belgrade. A strong gendarmerie force protected the church building and its attendees. January 25 – Greek Catholic Church in Novi Sad was broken into. The thieves stole about 20,000 Serbian Dinars (200 EUR) and a pulpit Bible. March 28/29 (during the night) – nationalist graffiti was written at the gate of the Catholic graveyard in Novi Sad, TV Vojvodina reported. April 14/15 (during the night) – unknown perpetrators broke into the Parish office of the Slovak Evangelical (Lutheran) Church in Stara Pazova. The church deposit box weighing 200 kg was stolen – but with only little money inside. May 31/ June 1 (during the night) – 713 gravestones were demolished or damaged at the Stapari Orthodox graveyard in Sombor municipality. August 3-4 – twice in a 24-hours period, someone broke into and robbed the Orthodox Church of St. George in Temerin, near Novi Sad. August 28/ September 1– desecration of eight family graves at the Orthodox graveyard in Zaječar. September 13– a monument of Martin Luther was damaged in front of the Evangelical (Lutheran) Church of Serbia in Subotica. Since this monument was built by the Subotica town council in 2007, the major insisted with the police that vandals are to be found. The Ministry of Religion expressed their regret. The Evangelical (Lutheran) church of Serbia is one of two traditional (recognized) Lutheran churches in Serbia. October 4 – The Evangelical Church in Kragujevac was hit and damaged from stones. Windows and the church name display were targeted. October 8 – a grave cross was pulled out, broken and thrown in front of a chapel at the Catholic graveyard in Novi Sad. December 19/20 – The Serbian Orthodox Church of Velikomučenice Marine in Atina, near Čačak, was broken into and robbed. 2010 February 23– several gravestones were demolished and damaged at the Catholic graveyard in Bečej. June 12 and also  June 13– repeated attacks on the United Methodist Church in Jabuka, near Pančevo. Incidents occurred during the ethnically-motivated attacks on Roma in Jabuka, since some of the Roma attend this church. For a few days a Serbian gendarmerie unit had to protect the church, while local police protected the house of Pastor Ms. Lila Balovski. 2011 February 22– graffiti of intolerance written at the entrance door of a Protestant Christian Fellowship in Temerin near Novi Sad. Sources: We thank Human Rights Without Frontiers Int'l for providing this information which we republished in excerpts. Branko Bjelajac contributed to this article. 2012, Center 9, Belgrade, Serbia