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Church of Serbia

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[[Image:Serbia logo.gif|right|300px]]
The '''Church of Serbia''' is one of the [[autocephaly|autocephalous]] Orthodox churches, ranking sixth after [[Church of Constantinople|Constantinople]], [[Church of Alexandria|Alexandria]], [[Church of Antioch|Antioch]], [[Church of Jerusalem|Jerusalem]], [[Church of Russia|Russia]] in the [[diptychs ]] of [[Church of Constantinople|Constantinople]]. In the diptychs of the [[Church of Russia]], it ranks seventh.{{fact}} It exercises jurisdiction over Orthodox Christians in Serbia and surrounding Slavic and other lands as well as [[exarchate]]s and patriarchal representation churches around the world.  The patriarch of Serbia serves as first among equals in his church; . His Grace, Bishop Irinej (Gavrilovic) of Niš, 80, was elected by members of the current Serbian Church’s Assembly of Bishops on Friday, [[January 22]], 2010. He became the 45th Patriarch of Serbia the next day. The previous patriarch is was His Holiness [[Pavle (Stojcevic) of Serbia|Pavle (Stojcevic)]]who reposed on [[November 15]], 2009 the age of 95 after a lengthy illness.
{{church|
name= The Patriarchate of Serbia[[Image:Serbia logo 2.gif|center|Church of Serbia]]|
independence= 1219 (lost in 1766), again in 1879 |
recognition= 1219 by [[Church of Constantinople|Constantinople]], again in 1879 |
primate=[[Pavle Irinej (StojcevicGavrilovic) of Serbia|Patriarch PavleIrinej ]]|
hq=Belgrade, Serbia|
territory=Serbia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Republic of Macedonia (disputed), Montenegro, Slovenia|
calendar=[[Julian Calendar|Julian]]|
population=15,000,000|
website=[http://www.spc.yu rs/eng Church of Serbia]
}}
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 influental 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.
The restoration of the patriarchate was of great importance for the Serbs because it helped the spiritual unification of all Serbs in the [[Ottoman empire|Ottoman Empire]]. After consequent Serbian uprisals against the Turkish occupation in which the church had a leading role, the Turks abolished the patriarchate once again in 1766. The church returned once more to the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constintinople. This period of so-called "[[Phanariots]]" was a period of great spiritual decline because the Greek [[bishop]]s had very little understanding of their Serbian flock. This was also the period when a great number of Christians converted to [[Islam]] to avoid the severe taxes imposed by the Turks in retaliation for uprisings and continued resistance. Many Serbs and their [[hierarch]]s migrated to southern Hungary, where the church was autonomous. The seat of the archbishops was moved from Pec to Karlovci. The Serbian Orthodox Church finally regained its independence and became autocephalous again in 1879, the year after the recognition by the Allied powers of Serbia as an independent state. After World War I, all the Serbs were united under one ecclesiastical authority, and the patriarchate was reestablished in 1920 with election of Patriarch [[Dimitrije (Pavlovic) of Serbia|Dimitrje]], the patriarch's full title being ''Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci, and Patriarch of the Serbs''.
During the Second World War, the Serbian Orthodox Church passed through severe trials in which many bishops, [[priest]]s, and about 700,000 [[laity|lay]] Orthodox Christians were killed by Croatian and Muslim fascists (according to the Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren). Hundreds of [[church]]es were completely destroyed or desecrated. After the Second World War the church experienced new trials under the communists, who prohibited teaching of religion in schools, confiscated the property of the church, and used various overt and covert means of persecution in order to diminish the influence the church had among the people. It was only after 1989 that the position of the church became tolerable, although church estates have not yet been returned to their lawful owners.
===Serbia ===
* '''Archdiocese of Belgrade and Sremski Karlovci''', with [[see ]] in Belgrade (including Monastery of Pećka Patrijaršija)
'''diocesan:''' Patriarch Dr [[Pavle (Stojcevic) of Serbia|Pavle]]
'''coadjutors:''' Atanasije vicar Bishop of Hvostno, Antonije vicar Bishop of Moravice
'''diocesan:''' Bishop Filaret
* '''Diocese of Niš''', with see in Niš
'''diocesan:''' [[Irinej (Gavrilovic) of Serbia|Bishop Irinej]] (Elected Patriarch on January 22, 2010)
* '''Diocese of Ras and Prizren''', with see in Prizren
'''diocesan:''' Bishop Dr Artemije
===The Americas===
* '''Metropolitanate of Midwestern AmericaLibertyville-Chicago''', with [[see ]] at St. Sava Monastery in Libertyville, Illinois'''diocesan:''' Metropoliten HristoforPatriarch [[Irinej (Gavrilović) of Serbia|Irinej]], Administrator*'''Diocese of New Gracanica-Midwestern America, with see at the Monastery of New Gracanica '''diocesan:''' Bishop [[Longin (Krco) of America and Canada|Longin (Krco)]]
* '''Diocese of East America''', with see at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
'''diocesan:''' Bishop Dr Mitrofan
'''diocesan:''' Bishop Dr [[Maxim (Vasilijevic) of Western America|Maxim]]
* '''Diocese of Canada''', with see at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Hamilton, Ontario
'''diocesan:''' Bishop Gorgije* '''Metropolitanate of New Gracanica, Diocese of the United States and Canada''', with see at Most Holy Mother of God Monastery in Grayslake, Illinois ''(former Free Serbian Orthodox Church Diocese for the United States and Canada, which was not in full communion with the Serbian patriarch from 1963 to 1992)'''''diocesan:''' Bishop [[Longin Georgije (KrcoDjokic) of America and Canada|LonginBishop Gorgije]]
===Australia and Oceania===
== External links ==
*[http://www.spc.yu rs/ Church of Serbia] official website in Serbian and English
*[http://www.cnewa.org/ecc-bodypg-us.aspx?eccpageID=18&IndexView=toc Eastern Christian Churches: The Orthodox Church of Serbia] by Ronald Roberson, a Roman Catholic priest and scholar
*[http://www.easterndiocese.org Diocese of Eastern America]
*[http://www.eparhija-niska.org.yu Diocese of Nis]
*[http://www.eparhija-prizren.com/en Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija]
*[http://www.eparhija-sumadijska.org.yu Diocese of Sumadija]
*[http://www.eparhija-timocka.org Diocese of Timok]
*[http://www.westsrbdio.org Diocese of Western America]
*[http://www.egliseorthodoxeserbe.org Diocese of Western Europe]
 
==Source==
*[http://www.serborth.org/administration.html The Serbian Orthodox Church in North & South America]
===Organizations===
[[es:Iglesia Ortodoxa de Serbia]]
[[fr:Église de Serbie]]
[[ro:Biserica Ortodoxă Sârbă]]
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