This September the annual EuroPride will take place in Belgrade. The Pride event is expected to draw visitors from across the continent to the city, but not all Serbs are looking forward to it. For example, last weekend there was a demonstration to cancel the event.
Bishop Nikanor Bogunović of the Serbian Orthodox Church also prefers not to have Pride in Belgrade. According to him, the event causes the "holy" city to be "desecrated".
In a speech, the bishop therefore called for violence. "I will curse anyone who organizes and participates in such a thing," Nikanor said. "That's what I can do. If I had a weapon, I'd use it. But I don't have a weapon."
The bishop's words even penetrated national politics. Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić called the words a "humiliation" for the church and championed Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, who is gay herself.
EuroPride will take place in Belgrade from September 12-18. The fact that the event takes place in conservative Serbia is somewhat remarkable. LGBT+ people have few rights and acceptance of the LGBT+ community is low, as several protests against the event showed.