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:

  • Архиепископија београдско-карловачка (Archbishopric of Belgrade and Karlovac), with see in Belgrade
  • Епархија банатска (Eparchy of Banat), with see in Vršac
  • Епархија бањалучка (Eparchy of Banja Luka), with see in Banja Luka
  • Епархија бачка (Eparchy of Bačka), with see in Novi Sad
  • Епархија бихаћко-петровачка (Eparchy of Bihać and Petrovac), with see in Bosanski Petrovac
    Since the end of the war in 1995 the bishop and most priests fled as refugees along with the Serbs of the are, all returned by 1998.
  • Епархија браничевска (Eparchy of Braničevo), with see in Požarevac
  • Епархија будимљанско-никшићка (Eparchy of Budimlje and Niksic, with see in Djurdjevi Stupovi monastery near Berane
  • Епархија врањска (Eparchy of Vranje), with see in Vranje
  • Епархија горњокарловачка (Eparchy of upper Karlovac), with see in Karlovac
    Since war of 1991 bishop, priests and people are mostly refugees.
  • Епархија дабробосанска (Eparchy of Dabar Bosnia), with see in Sarajevo
    Since war of 1992-1995 bishop and most priests are refugees; temporary see is Sokolac on Romanija.
  • Епархија далматинска (Eparchy of Dalmatia), with see in Šibenik
    Since war of 1991 bishop, priests and people are refugees; see was temporary moved to Knin and then abandoned in 1995.
  • Епархија жичка (Eparchy of Žiča), with see in monastery Žiča near Kraljevo
  • Епархија загребачко-љубљанска (Eparchy of Zagreb and Ljubljana), with see in Zagreb
    Also encompases Italy and all of Slovenia. Since war of 1991 bishop, priests and most faithful are refugees. The bishop and priests returned to the Eparchy by 1998
  • Епархија захумско-херцеговачка (Eparchy of Zahumlje and Herzegovina), with see in monastery Tvrdoš near Trebinje
    Since war of 1992 many monasteries and churches destroyed, some faithful are refugees.
  • Епархија зворничко-тузланска (Eparchy of Zvornik and Tuzla), with see in Tuzla (currently in exile in Bijeljina)
  • Епархија милешевска (Eparchy of Mileševa), with see in Mileševa monastery
  • Епархија нишка (Eparchy of Niš), with see in Niš
  • Епархија осјечкопољска и барањска (Eparchy of Osjecko polje and Baranja), with see in Dalj
  • Епархија рашко-призренска (Eparchy of Ras and Prizren), with see in Prizren
  • Епархија славонска (Eparchy of Slavonia), with see in Pakrac
    Since war of 1991 bishop, priests and people are mostly refugees.
  • Епархија сремска (Eparchy of Srem), with see in Sremski Karlovci
  • Епархија темишварска (Eparchy of Timisoara), with see in Timisoara
  • Епархија тимочка (Eparchy of Timok), with see in Zaječar
  • Епархија црногорско-приморска (Eparchy of Montenegro and the littoral), with see in Cetinje
  • Епархија шабачко-ваљевска (Eparchy of Sabac and Valjevo), with see in Šabac
  • Епархија шумадијска (Eparchy of Sumadija), with see in Kragujevac

  • Епархија аустралијско-новозеландска (Eparchy of Australia and New Zealand), with see in Elaine
    Also encompasses South Africa.
  • Епархија Аустралијско-новозеландска Митрополије новограчаничке (Eparchy of Australia and New Zealand of mitropoly of New Gračanica), with see in monastery New Gračanica
  • Епархија британско-скандинавска (Eparchy of Britain and Scandinavia), with see in Stockholm
    Encompasses parishes in Great Britain, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
  • Епархија будимска (Eparchy of Buda (Budim)), with see in Sentandreja
    Encompasses Orthodox Serbs in Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia.
  • Епархија западноамеричка (Eparchy of West America), with see in Los Angeles
  • Епархија западноевропска (Eparchy of West Europe), with see in Paris. Gathers Orthodox Serbs in France, Belgium, Netherlands and Spain
  • Епархија источноамеричка (Eparchy of East America), with see in Edgeworth
  • Епархија канадска (Eparchy of Canada), with see in Milton monastery
  • Епархија новограчаничка за Америку и Канаду (Eparchy of New Gračanica for former schismatic parishes America and Canada), with see in monastery New Gračanica, former Autonomous Serb Orthodox Church in shism with SOC since 1960s until 1992
  • Епархија средњоевропска (Eparchy of Central Europe), with see in Himmelstühr monastery. Encompasses Serb Orthodox faithful in Germany, Austria and Switzerland
  • Епархија средњезападно-америчка (Eparchy of Midwest America), with see in monastery of Saint Sava in Libertyville

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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