Gay activists in Serbia are planning to hold a gay parade in Belgrade on Sunday, October 10, 2010. Russian Orthodox young believers have condemned the plan to hold the parade, and will hold a protest against it in front of the Serbian embassy in Moscow on Sunday.
It appears that Russians are more opposed to this gay parade in Belgrade than Serbians themselves. Why are Russians so adamant about it?
We need to keep in mind that Russia and Serbia have been close allies for many years -- and especially since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the breaking up of Yugoslavia into several nations -- including Serbia -- at about the same time. Moreover, Russia and Serbia share the same Eastern Orthodox faith -- more than 90 percent of their populations are Eastern Orthodox -- which has also led to a very close relationship between these two nations.
Serbian President Boris Tadic has allowed the gay parade to go on as planned in Belgrade, because he believes that it will enhance Serbia's chances of becoming a member of the European Union (EU). Allowing the parade, then, will send a clear message to the EU that Serbia believes in the freedom of all minorities -- gay, religious, ethnic, racial, etc.
At the same time, the Serbian Orthodox Church has condemned violence against gay activities, even though it is opposed to the gay parade in Belgrade. The Serbian Church has said, in effect, that resorting to violence is contrary to Christian values; therefore, it must be avoided.
Conservative extremists forced the cancellation of last year's scheduled gay parade. Serbian authorities have promised to ensure security for the gay gathering tomorrow.
Indeed, holding this gay parade leads to a serious dilemma -- especially from a theological perspective. On the one hand, resorting to violence against the gay parade is anti-Christian. On the other hand, gay activities themselves -- especially marriages of gays -- are also anti-Christian.
What is the appropriate Christian action for Serbia to take. I suggest that Serbia allow the parade to take place without violence; however, the vast majority of Serbs must make it perfectly clear that they are opposed to any kind of gay activities, because such activities are completely contrary to the teachings of Christ.