The Not-So-Soft Power of Faith: Religion as an Instrument of Foreign Influence in Montenegro

Author: Ljubomir Filipović

July 17, 2023

In this working paper, Ljubomir Filipović examines the role of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) in Montenegrin society, with a main focus on the last two years when the SOC directly participated in the political changes in the country. This report suggests that the SOC served as a foreign influence instrument for Serbian and Russian interests in Montenegro, especially during the country's recent turbulent political processes. The SOC maintains a position of authority in Montenegrin society, which is made possible due to the strong influence the Serbian church exercises over the decision-making processes in the country.

This working paper was written as part of the Geopolitics of Religious Soft Power project, a research initiative of Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. This article arises from a partnership between the project and the United States Institute of Peace focused on understanding how the geopolitics of religion shapes peace and conflict dynamics in particular regional and country settings. The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the respective author(s).

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