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Serb Orthodox Church

The Serb Orthodox Church is a body of some 11 million Christians united under the Serb Patriarch who includes Archbishop of Peć and Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci in his title.

The Serbs migrated to the Balkans during the reign of Byzantine emperor Heraclius (610-641). Unknown to them at the time, the Serbs had settled on both sides of the line of Roman emperor Theodosius I. The region they had settled had for centuries been alternatively under the religious jurisdictions of Rome and Constantinople. The Serbs were converted in several waves of, the last major one taking place between 867 and 874 AD.

Finally, most of the Serbs fell under the authority of the Church of Constantinople and had by 1219 acquired a Church of autocephalous status.

The Serb Orthodox Church (SOC) includes eparchies of Orthodox believers in Serbia and Montenegro, Republika Srpska (Bosnia-Herzegovina), the Krajina (Croatia), Slovenia, Italy, Hungary.The SOC also includes vicariates in Romania and Albania in accordance with the Romanian and Albanian churches. The SOC also has jurisdiction over the Serb diaspora in the Americas, Western Europe and Australia. The issue over the Orthodox jurisdiction in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is a subject of debate between the SOC and the Macedonian Orthodox Church which has yet to gain recognition of autonomy from the SOC although it does operate on the territory of the former Yugoslav republic.


Serbian Orthodox Church is divided into 40 dioceses each headed by its own bishop:

In the Balkans:


Dioceses are further divided into Episcopal Deaneries, each consisting of several Church Congregations and Parishes. Church Congregations consist of one or more Parishes. Parish is the smallest Church unit - a communion of Orthodox faithful congregating at the Holy Eucharist with the parish priest at their head.

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