Serbia’s pro-life groups recently celebrated a landmark victory with the cancellation of the ‘Europride March,’ scheduled for September 17th. Following organized protests, in which throngs of people gathered several times on the streets of Belgrade, Serbian president, Aleksandar Vučić, was forced to cancel the notoriously sensualist parade. However, exhibitions, film screenings, and a four-day international press conference on human rights will still take place during the week.
While Vučić gave the “rise of a significant crisis in Kosovo” as the official explanation, the real reason for the cancellation seems to have been the phalanx of Church and pro-life leaders who staunchly opposed the annual ‘LGBTQ’ event. The Ministry of Interior Affairs has now warned that counter-gatherings, scheduled on the same day, may cause a clash between the two groups.
Serbian pro-family leader, Marija Stajić, told The European Conservative:
No one in Serbia wants violence or riots, but we also don’t want obscenities in the public space, [or] participants in the pride march mocking our faith, moral values, and customs, as was the case in previous Belgrade Pride events, and, most of all, we don’t want schools teaching our children the unscientific and arbitrary gender ideology which denies and ignores indisputable scientific and biological facts.
The protests, while not announced in the mainstream media, drew tens of thousands of people, thanks to successful networking among Christian, pro-life, and conservative groups on alternative media platforms. In addition, pro-lifers had to overcome resistance and censorship, such as the shutting down of the ‘Stop Europride’ Instagram account which informed Serbian citizens about the dangers of ‘LGBTQ’ ideology and propaganda.
The images of the demonstrations were impressive: a gigantic prayer procession stretched continuously for almost two kilometres in downtown Belgrade, participants holding a gigantic 500-metre-long Serbian white, blue, and red flag above their heads, and a pro-life cross.
The cross procession ended with a prayer service for the sanctity of marriage and family in front of Saint Sava’s Temple, delivered by His Holiness the Serbian Patriarch, Porfirije, along with many bishops. In his sermon at the end of the prayer, the Patriarch condemned the “unacceptable ‘LGBTQ’ ideology.” He added:
The teaching of the Church expressed in the opening pages of the Bible is deeply imprinted on the souls of us… It is written that God created man as two sexes, as male and female, which means that marriage and family, from the beginning of the world until today and until the end of the world and time, is defined as the union of love between a man and a woman with their children… For these reasons, we repeatedly stated in direct conversation with the highest representatives of the state the reasons why we think cancelling ‘Europride’ is necessary and justified.
We wholeheartedly stand with our Patriarch. His is an amazing example of a faith leader defending Christ’s truth in a modern, anti-Christian time. Pride organizers and their supporters said they would complain against the ban and they insist on walking on Saturday despite the ban, openly in breach of the law. Organizers of the cross procession will also appeal against the ban on our pro-family event and we’ll see what the interior ministry will do next.
According to media reports, the president of the so-called European Association of Pride Organizers, Kristine Garina, announced that Europride has not and will not be cancelled and that any attempt to ban the event is a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.