“They Crucified Jesus And Now They are Trying To Crucify Novak": Led By Orthodox Church Patriarch, Serbia Rallies In Support Of Djoković

by Swarajya Staff - Jan 10, 2022 06:40 AM
“They Crucified Jesus And Now They are Trying To Crucify Novak": Led By Orthodox Church Patriarch, Serbia Rallies In Support Of DjokovićDjoković-Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch Porfirije
Snapshot
  • The leader of the Serbian Orthodox Church extended his support to the country's greatest sportsperson.

    The tennis star's father Srdjan Djoković compared his son's plight with that of Jesus saying “They crucified Jesus and now they are trying to crucify Novak the same way and force him on his knees.”

Even as a Melbourne court today is hearing a legal challenge by tennis superstar Novak Djoković against his detention, thousand of Serbians have rallied in support of the country's greatest sportsperson.

Djokovic was denied entry at the Melbourne airport late Wednesday after border officials canceled his visa for failing to meet its entry requirement that all non-citizens be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

The tennis player's lawyers filed court papers om Saturday challenging the deportation that show Djokovic tested positive for COVID-19 last month and recovered, grounds he used in applying for a medical exemption to the country's strict vaccination rules.

As Serbia celebrated Orthodox Christmas, the leader of the Serbian Orthodox Church extended his support to Djoković

Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch Porfirije said he has spoken to Djoković, offering him the church’s support.

“Dear Novak, from the troubles and temptations you are going through on Christmas, the day of joy, tomorrow only a pale shadow will remain,” Porfirije wrote on social media site Instagram. “Millions of Orthodox Serbs pray for you, as you do for us.”

The Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) celebrates Christmas Day based on the Julian calendar, which falls on January 7 of the Gregorian calendar.

The tennis legend from Belgrade is a devout Christian who often seen invoking religious imagery during his matches on tour. "Before being an athlete, I am an Orthodox Christian,” he said in April 2011, when he received the order of St. Sava in the first degree from the hands of Irenaeus, the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church. He has regularly donated for renovation of the monasteries, churches, religious buildings, and works of arts.

Last week, the family of Djoković ed a protest outside the parliament against the treatment meted by Australian authorities against the tennis star.

Djokovic's father referenced the country's violent past while rallying support for his son.

"More than 100 years ago there were six million of us," Srdjan Djoković pointing out that the country's population has changed little in the past century. "Why? Because they were killing, bombing, sanctioning us, chasing us from our country." he added.

During a press conference, Srdjan Djoković compared his son's plight with that of Jesus saying “They crucified Jesus and now they are trying to crucify Novak the same way and force him on his knees.”

President, PM and opposition leader express support to Djoković

Political leaders cutting across party lines also expressed solidarity with Djokovic.

Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabić said that she and the whole of Serbia "firmly stand by the World No. 1, Novak Djoković

On Thursday, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said his government had asked that Djokovic be allowed to move to a house he has rented and not to be held “in that infamous hotel”. Vucic said he also spoke with Djokovic, and believed he has been treated differently from other players.

President of the Assembly of Serbia, Ivica Dačić warned that the Djoković episode will have negative consequences on the relations between Serbia and Australia.

Dacic said that it is unlikely that Australia will accept any arguments of the state of Serbia when it comes to the case of Novak Djoković.

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