Serbian Orthodox Church


October 19, 2021

The Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) is a local and autocephalous church, with the dignity of a patriarchate. It is in the sixth place in the diptych of the Orthodox Church. Its canonical territory covers the territories of all states that emerged in the former Yugoslavia.


Serbs converted to Christianity in the 7th century, but at that time they did not yet have their own church organization. They fell under the jurisdiction of the Ohrid Archbishopric. Saint Sava (Rastko Nemanjić) was ordained in 1219 by Patriarch Manoel I of Constantinople in Nicaea as "archbishop of Serbian and coastal lands", and the Serbian church received autocephaly and the dignity of archbishopric. Since then, the Serbian archbishop has been elected and consecrated in the Serbian country. The founding of the Archbishopric of Peja was bitterly opposed by the Archbishop of Ohrid, Dimitrije Homatijan, under whose jurisdiction the Epirus despotate was opposed in the Empire of Nicaea, but without success. In the territory of today's Macedonia, Christianity has been known since the time of the Apostle Paul. From the 4th to the 6th century, the Ohrid archbishopric alternately depended on Rome and Constantinople. At the end of the 9th and the beginning of the 11th century, it had an autocephalous status, as an archbishopric, and then as a patriarchate, with its center in Ohrid. The Serbian archbishopric existed until 1346. As the country was without urban settlements, the diocesan centers were in monasteries. The center of the archbishopric was in the monastery of Žiča, and from 1253 in Peć - the Archbishopric of Peć. In order to be able to crown Dušan the Strong as emperor, the Serbian Archbishop Joanikije II was elevated to the rank of patriarch at the church council in Skopje in 1346, and the Serbian archbishopric was elevated to the dignity of patriarchy. The solemn ceremony was attended by the Bulgarian Patriarch, the Archbishop of Ohrid, Serbian bishops and the monastic order of Mount Athos. The center of the Serbian patriarch was located in Peja and that is why the patriarchate was called the Pec Patriarchate. After the Serbian Patriarchate after 1346 expanded its jurisdiction over the conquered areas (Macedonia, Thessaly, Epirus), Patriarch Callistus I of Constantinople (1350-1353) decided to react to this by imposing an official condemnation in the form of excommunication of the Serbian ruler, Serbian patriarch and others. Serbian archbishops,

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