Montenegrin Orthodox Church considers itself to be the sole legitimate representative of Orthodox Christianity in Montenegro, and also lay claim to all Orthodox Christian property in Montenegro that is currently in the possession of the Serbian Orthodox Church. From time to time, MOC members and supporters have attempted to claim some of these structures (mostly in the Cetinje municipal area).
The Montenegrin Orthodox Church was founded in Cetinje on October 31, 1993, by Antonije Abramović, allegedly with the Liberal Alliance of Montenegro (LSCG), a political party that existed at the time. At the time, Montenegro was part of the federal state with Serbia called the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which was formed a year earlier following a 1992 referendum. LSCG, a party with a pro-independence agenda, is claimed to having used MOC as a tool in their quest for Montenegrin sovereignty. At that time, the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro (DPS) maintained close ties to Milošević's administration in Serbia, and therefore the initial activities of the MOC were very sporadic.
By 1997, the DPS administration in Montenegro led by Milo Đukanović began to distance itself from Milošević, and MOC was registered as a civic group. By this time, LSCG had distanced itself from MOC almost completely. On January 17, 2001, MOC was officially registered as a non-governmental organization at the local department of the Montenegrin Ministry of the Interior.
In the absence of any other relevant and more current piece of legislation, this registration was done by calling on the Law on the Legal Position of Religious Communities from 1977 when Montenegro was a socialist republic within SFR Yugoslavia.
In 2007, MOC attempted to expand its activities beyond the borders of Montenegro. Serbia originally refused to allow MOC to be registered as an organization, as all canonical Eastern Orthodox Churches have also refused to recognize the MOC. However, on appeal, the Serbian Supreme Court ruled this position unconstitutional, overturning the refusal and paving the way for a potential permission to register.