Friday, July 21, 2006

Orthodox Christianity in Serbia

Although Serbia has endured much suffering under the weight of oppressive atheist regimes, the Orthodox Christian Church in Serbia has continued to weather the many violent storms that have blown through its land. The light of Christ has continued to shine brightly through His Church during many years of political upheaval and brutal war.

The Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate, like the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate, is a modern jurisdiction of the Orthodox Christian Church united with the ancient Patriarchates of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem.

The ancient Decani Monastery is a Serbian Orthodox Christian monastery in Kosovo. They have a great website. In the Orthodox Church we express our Faith and pray our prayers through our music. Hear the glorious prayers chanted by the monks. See the images of the night vigil and the monastery in festal lights. The monastery is filled with beautiful holy icons. Read about The Art of Decani Monastery. See images of the monks celebrating Easter (Pascha) in 2003. Check out the other pictures of the monks worshiping inside the church temple, the church building from the outside, everyday duties of the monks, and the icon studio.

Here are pictures of the monastery after the war. Watch a really good BBC report (Real Video) about how the monks saved lives in Kosovo. You can also read news articles from the the BBC, the Associated Press, The New York Times, and Knight Ridder Newspapers about the monks' life-saving work among the people.

In addition to the prayerful chants available on the Decani Monastery website, hear Serbian Orthodox Choral Chants and Medieval Chants on the website of St. Luke's Orthodox Mission.

The Serbian government under Slobodan Milosevic tried to use the image of the Orthodox Church for the purposes of nationalistic political propaganda. Listen to an NPR report by Frederica Mathewes-Green about the role of the Orthodox Christian Church in Serbia during this period. The Very Reverend Thomas Hopko wrote an article entitled, "The Serbian Church and Milosevic," which is available on the websites of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary and OrthodoxyToday. The Serbian Orthodox Church's actual view of Milosevic's regime can be seen in reports by the BBC, CNN, and Christianity Today. The Rev. Irinej Dobrijevic wrote a paper on "The Role of the Serbian Orthodox Church in National Self-Determination and Regional Integration," published on (pdf file).

The Cybercast News Service has made available an article and video showing the desecration of an Orthodox Christian Church in Bosnia by Islamic forces. The article is entitled "Church Desecration Video Serves as Jihad Fund-Raiser." On a more positive note, Frank Brown wrote "Orthodox Serb Priest Aids Embattled Serb Villagers in Kosovo," available on

For information on the Serbian Orthodox Church in America check out the websites of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the United States and Canada and the Serbian Orthodox Church, Diocese of Western America.

Copyright © 2006 by Dana S. Kees. The public domain photo of the Temple of Saint Sava in Belgrade, Serbia by Filip Maljkovic is available at