Montenegro: Religion

In accordance with the population census conducted in 2003 it was determined that about 75% of the local population practice Christianity, 18% - Islam and 3.5% are Catholics.


Orthodox Christians of the country are mainly the Montenegrins and Serbians. There are two orthodox churches in the state: Montenegrin Orthodox Church and Serbian Orthodox Church. The first one was established in the fourteenth century, immediately after separation of Montenegrin princedom from Serbian state. Today, though this church declares itself to be autocephalous, its status has not been authorized yet.


Serbian Orthodox Church in the state is represented by two eparchies: Budimle-Nikshich with its center in Beran and Montenegrin-Maritime with its center in Tsetin city.


The Catholics in the country are the Montenegrins, Albanians and Croats living along the shore. The Catholic Church of the state is divided into Kotora eparchy submitting to Split-Makarsk metropolis and Bara archieparchy governed by the Holy See.


The vast majority of Catholics in Montenegro serve moleben according to the Latin ceremony; however, Greek Catholics are distinguished. Since 2002 they have begun to submit to apostolic exarchate of Montenegro and Serbia with its center in Ruski Krstur. It is a very curious feature which was observed in Bara temples in formerly. Previously there were two Holy tables simultaneously: orthodox and catholic. Services there were conducted according to two ceremonies. Today, in some temples you can see the similar feature of liturgy conducting.


Appearance of Islam in the state was connected with the Ottoman Empire which conquered a large part of the state in the fifteenth century. Montenegrin Muslims are conditionally divided into the Albanians, Bosnians, Muslim Slavs and Montenegrins. Plav, Rozhae, Ultsin cities and adjoining territories are the main regions where the most part of Montenegrin Muslims live.


The temples, constructed according to the canons of one or another religious movement, provide the state architecture with inimitable coloring as well as a unique spirituality. Thus, any visitor of the country has the opportunity not only to sunbathe, but to get acquainted with very interesting architectural monuments.