Ambassador Vesko Garcevic, Professor of the Practice of International Relations at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, published a recent Op-Ed in BalkanInsight, on the correlation between the Orthodox church(es) and states.
Amb. Garcevic’s Op-Ed, entitled “Politics and Power Lurk Behind Montenegro Church Dispute,” was published in BalkanInsight on December 30, 2019.
From the text of the article:
Behind words about faith, nation, and freedom often hide naked political interests and a fight for dominance in society. The ongoing feud reminds us again of how questions regarding Church and faith are so intertwined with politics and power.
The problem arises, as in Montenegro, when it is not backed by the state authority, and the state has the Church against it. The history of Orthodox Christianity proves that states are the stronger actor in this equation. A row over Montenegro’s new law on religions has become the latest battleground between those who would challenge the country’s statehood and a government that wants to cement it. The debate has evolved into a proxy conflict for those in Montenegro who have never accepted its independence as well as those in Serbia who consider an independent Montenegro as only temporary.
During his diplomatic career, Amb. Vesko Garcevic dealt with issues pertinent to European security and NATO for almost 14 years. In 2004, he was posted in Vienna to serve as Ambassador to Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He had been a Montenegro’s Ambassador to NATO from 2010 until 2014 and served as a Montenegro’s National Coordinator for NATO from 2015 until he joined the faculty at the Pardee School.