Eastern Orthodoxy in Serbia

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Kalenić monastery built in the 15th century (1407-1413)

Eastern Orthodoxy is the main Christian denomination in Serbia, with 6,079,396 followers or 84.6% of the population, followed traditionally by the majority of Serbs, and also Romanians, Vlachs, Montenegrins, Macedonians and Bulgarians living in Serbia. The dominant Eastern Orthodox church in Serbia is the Serbian Orthodox Church. Also, by ancient agreements with Serbian Orthodox Church, Romanian Orthodox Church has its own Diocese of Dacia Felix that operates among Orthodox Romanians in Serbian Banat.


Late Antiquity and early Middle Ages[edit]

Remains of the city Justiniana Prima near modern Lebane in Serbia

During Late Antiquity, on the territory of present day Serbia there were several major Christian centers and episcopal sees, including Sirmium, Singidunum, Viminacium, Naissus, Ulpiana and others. In 535, byzantine emperor Justinian I created new Archbishopric of Justiniana Prima, centered in the city of Justiniana Prima near present day town of Lebane in central Serbia.

Serbian Orthodoxy[edit]

The identity of ethnic Serbs was historically based on Orthodox Christianity; the Serbian Orthodox Church, to the extent that some people claimed that those who were not Orthodox, were not Serbs. The Christianization of the Serbian lands took place in the 9th century, and Serbia (the Serbian Principality) is accounted Christian as of 870,[1] when the Eparchy of Ras and Braničevo were founded, confirmed by the Eighth Ecumenical Council (879-880).[2] The Serbian bishoprics became part of the Archbishopric of Ohrid, after the Byzantine conquest of the Bulgarian Empire in 1018. The Slavic language replaced the Greek in liturgical language.[3]

With the Great Schism in 1054 (the split between the Byzantine East and the Papal West), Serbia remained under Constantinople, while neighbouring Croatia remained under Rome. The Serbian Church was given autocephaly in 1219, when Archbishop Sava was recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarch.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Vlasto 1970, p. 208
  2. ^ Vlasto 1970, p. 209
  3. ^ Ćorović, Drugi Period, IV. Pokrštavanje Južnih Slovena