News from Europe

Christians robbed by migrants during a liturgical service in Serbia

Two migrants of unknown origin entered the St. Alexander Nevsky Church in the Serbian capital Belgrade last Sunday. They robbed several individuals who were participating in the liturgy of their money and mobile phones. Those attending the church service managed to catch one of the thieves and handed him over to the police, but the other escaped.


There were two of them. They broke into the church during the liturgy, which was in progress, and they stole two purses along with three mobile phones,” Vajo Jović, the elder of the Serbian Orthodox Church, told Serbian news site

“Upon entering the temple, they split up on two sides, and after the people saw what was happening, they managed to catch one of them and take away his mobile phones and the money he stole,” Jović said. “The other managed to escape. He took two purses, in one there were 3,500 dinars, while in the other there were 18,000, which was the entire pension of one woman.”

In January this year, Greece relocated to the mainland several thousand migrants crammed on its Mediterranean Island near the Turkish coast. While the onset of the coronavirus pandemic has kept them in Greece, the country has reopened its asylum office in the second half of May, leading to an increase of the migrants seeking to reach Western Europe via the Balkans migration route.

The countries of origin of refugees and migrants are mainly Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Iran, Morocco and Palestine. The Serbian government lifted all its coronavirus-related movement restrictions on the 14th of May and the migrants now have freedom of movement on the territory of the country.

In compliance with a recent verdict of the European Court of Justice, Hungary has closed both its transit zones at Röszke and Tompa on its border with Serbia and migrants can only apply for asylum at the Belgrade consulate. 


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