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primate=[[Irinej (Gavrilovic) of Serbia|Patriarch Irinej ]]|
territory=Serbia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Republic of Macedonia
(disputed), Montenegro, Slovenia|
possessions= United States, Canada, Europe, Australia|
language=[[Church Slavonic]]; Serbian|
The Serbian Orthodox Church is an autocephalous, or ecclesiastically independent, member of the Orthodox communion, located primarily in Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia
, and a disputed presence in the Republic of Macedonia. Since many Serbs have emigrated to foreign countries, there are many Serbian Orthodox communities on all continents.
Soon after their arrrival to the Balkans, the Serbian tribes were successively [[baptism|baptised]] by Christian [[missionary|missionaries]] and became Orthodox Christians. The [[consecration]] of St. [[Sava of Serbia|Sava]] as autocephalous archbishop of Serbia in 1219 strengthened various Serbian principalities even more in their ecclesiastical allegiance to [[Church of Constantinople|Constantinople]] and the Christian East. Later, as the medieval kingdom of Serbia grew in size and prestige and as Stefan Dusan, king of Serbia from 1331, assumed the imperial title of tsar (1346 to 1355), the archbishopric of Pec was correspondingly raised to the rank of [[patriarchate]]. The period before the arrival of the Turks was the time of the greatest flourishing of the Serbian church. After the final Turkish conquest of the most influential Serbian principality in 1459, the greater portion of Serbian lands became a Turkish pasalik (province). After the death of Patriarch Arsenije II in 1463, a successor was not elected. The patriarchate was thus de facto abolished, and the Serbian church passed under the jurisdiction of the [[Ecumenical Patriarchate]]. The Serbian patriarchate was restored in 1557 by the Turkish sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. [[Makarije (Sokolovic) of Pec|Makarije]], brother of the famous Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic, was elected patriarch in Pec.