Christian priests and nuns have held an ‘exorcism’ to ‘purify’ the city of Belgrade after a Pride parade.
Photos of protestors displaying pictures of Jesus, homophobic banners, and a bizarre poster of a gay person being driven into the fires of an ‘EU hell’ by a figure bearing a cross have emerged from Serbia.
The religious leaders told local media how the ceremonies they were performing were intended to ‘cleanse’ the city after its celebration of ‘demonic sins’.
This year’s Belgrade Pride was the biggest yet with a number of Serbian politicians – including Ana Brnabic who is also the first openly gay minister in the country – joining several hundred LGBTI rights supporters on a march through the capital.
The group was protected by 5,000 police officers to were there to ensure the participants’ safety and prevent rioting from homophobic protestors.
Previous years have seen Pride-goers attacked, or the event even banned over safety concerns.
The demonstrators, in the days after the event, claimed they needed to perform an exorcism after ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’ took over the city.
Saying prayers, giving speeches and displaying banners, the priests and nuns held signs that said ‘Gay Shame’, ‘Shame On You’ and Nevermore’.
Serbian actress Mirjana Karanovic kicked off this year’s Belgrade Pride, reminding those gathered she believes marching like this is important to overcome fear and ignorance, and that LGBTI rights have not become normal in society.