Serbia: attacks continue despite improvements
By Forum 18
Although the number of violent attacks on Serbia’s religious minorities has declined in recent years, numerous such attacks still continue, Forum 18 News Service has found in its latest annual survey.
In June, a Hare Krishna devotee was knifed. One blackspot is the town of Backa Palanka, where Seventh-day Adventist and Pentecostal churches have faced graffiti, arson and stone-throwing attacks and a Jehovah’s Witness was assaulted.
A newly-built Catholic church in Smederevo has faced three attacks in the past year, while Nazarene, Orthodox, Lutheran, Muslim and Mormon sites have also been attacked.
On 6 September, a new Islamic faculty being prepared in Novi Pazar was vandalised. Frustrated by officials’ failure to prosecute those who boasted of burning down a Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall in 1999, Jehovah’s Witnesses this year sued the Serbian state.