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Serbian Orthodox Church

Autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Church / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Serbian Orthodox Church (Serbian Cyrillic: Српска православна црква, romanized: Srpska pravoslavna crkva) is one of the autocephalous (ecclesiastically independent) Eastern Orthodox Christian churches.[4][5]

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Serbian Orthodox Church
Српска православна црква
Srpska pravoslavna crkva
AbbreviationSOC, SPC
ClassificationEastern Orthodox
ScriptureSeptuagint, New Testament
TheologyEastern Orthodox theology
PolityEpiscopal
GovernanceHoly Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church
StructureCommunion
PrimatePorfirije
Bishops44
Parishes3,100
AssociationsWorld Council of Churches[1]
LanguageSerbian and Church Slavonic
HeadquartersBuilding of the Patriarchate, Belgrade; traditionally Patriarchate of Peć
TerritorySoutheastern Europe (Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, North Macedonia, Kosovo[a], Slovenia), Australia, Canada, United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany, France
PossessionsOrthodox Ohrid Archbishopric
FounderSaint Sava
Independence1219–1463
1557–1766
1879–present
Recognition1219 (Autocephalous archbishopric)
1346 (Autocephalous Patriarchate)
1557 (Autocephalous Patriarchate)
1879 (Autocephalous metropolis)
1922 (Autocephalous Patriarchate)
SeparationsMacedonian Orthodox Church
Montenegrin Orthodox Church
Members8[2] to 12 million[3]
Official websitewww.spc.rs
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The majority of the population in Serbia, Montenegro and the Republika Srpska entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina are members of the Serbian Orthodox Church. It is organized into metropolitanates and eparchies, located primarily in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Croatia. Other congregations are located in the Serb diaspora. The Serbian Patriarch serves as first among equals in his church. The current patriarch is Porfirije, enthroned on 19 February 2021.[6]

The Church achieved autocephalous status in 1219,[7] under the leadership of Saint Sava, becoming the independent Archbishopric of Žiča. Its status was elevated to that of a patriarchate in 1346,[8] and was known afterwards as the Serbian Patriarchate of Peć. This patriarchate was abolished by the Ottoman Empire in 1766,[9] though several regional sections of the church continued to exist, most prominent among them being the Metropolitanate of Karlovci, in the Habsburg monarchy.[10] After the re-creation of Serbia, ecclesiastical autonomy was regained in 1831,[11] and the autocephaly was renewed in 1879. The modern Serbian Orthodox Church was re-established in 1920, after the unification of the Metropolitanate of Belgrade, the Patriarchate of Karlovci, and the Metropolitanate of Montenegro.[12]