The Rising Tide of Discrimination in the Western Balkans

Case Studies of Increasing Nationalism and Religious Discrimination

Lately, there have been increasing instances of nationalist-driven religious discrimination in Western Balkan countries, including Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This particularly affects people who are not adherents of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Given that the government in Serbia is highly nationalistic and cooperates closely with the Serbian Orthodox Church, it uses this religious organization to further its political goals.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the Republika Srpska entity threatens to secede from the state, anti-Muslim narratives are employed to increase the desire for secession.

With a change of government in Montenegro, a faction that discriminates against followers of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church has created problems in a country that was previously seen as an oasis of inter-ethnic and inter-religious harmony.

Delving Deeper

In an upcoming webinar entitled “Nationalism, Religion, and Discrimination in the Western Balkans,” to be held on January 25th, we will discuss nationalism in the Balkans, its role, strength, forms, and the dangers that stem from it. Special attention will be given to the intertwining of nationalism and religion and the various forms of discrimination that result from this. First and foremost, this pertains to discrimination against those who are not adherents of the Serbian Orthodox Church, who are not ethnic Serbs, and against other national and linguistic groups, the LGBT community, and others.

We will also address religiously motivated discrimination coming from official authorities in Serbia, Montenegro, and the Bosnian-Herzegovinian entity of Republika Srpska.

We will focus on the role of the Serbian Orthodox Church in denying the genocide in Srebrenica, glorifying war criminals, and engaging in historical revisionism. This is a significant issue since denying events aimed at mass violations of human rights is, in fact, an invitation to further discrimination and violence.

Register for the upcoming webinar here.