Kostryukov Andrey

On the relations between the Serbian and Russian Churches abroad in 1960–1980

Kostryukov Andrey (2020) "On the relations between the Serbian and Russian Churches abroad in 1960–1980 ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia II : Istoriia. Istoriia Russkoy Pravoslavnoy Tserkvi, 2020, vol. 92, pp. 144-157 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturII202092.144-157


This article studies the problems in relations between the Serbian Church and the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. In the 1920s and 1930s, Russian refugees were supported by the Serbian Church, and the Russian Church Abroad was granted canonical status. Good relations between the churches continued afterwards as well. However, in the 1960s and 1980s, the party of “zealots” (Russ. ревнители) gained considerable influence in the Russian Church Abroad, accusing the Orthodox world of apostasy and advocating a resolute severance with the local churches, including the Serbian Church. At the same time, many priests valued their relations with world Orthodoxy. The opposition of the two parties is linked to the attitude of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad towards bishop Dionysius (Milivojevich), who separated from the Serbian Church in 1963 and established the so-called “Free Serbian Orthodox Church”. At fi rst, the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad was ready to fully support the new split, but in 1967 it condemned the new discord. Nevertheless, later representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, including metropolitan Filaret (Voznesensky) made harsh statements against the legitimate Serbian Church. For its part, the Serbian Church avoided conflict with the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and continued to protect it. In the early 1970s, Moscow Patriarchate was preparing to condemn the Russian Church Abroad. The issue was discussed at the Local Council in 1971, and it was decided to abandon it. A representative of the Serbian Church, who was present at the Council, also opposed the condemnation of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. This attitude on the part of the Serbian Church was also observed later, in the 1990s too, when relations between Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Church Abroad were particularly difficult.


Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, Moscow Patriarchate, Serbian Orthodox Church, Local Council of 1971, “Serbian Free Orthodox Church”, metropolitan Filaret (Voznesensky), metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov), bishop Dionysius (Milivojevich)


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Information about the author

Kostryukov Andrey

Academic Degree: Doctor of Sciences* in History;
Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in Theology;
Place of work: St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University for Humanities; 6/1 Likhov Pereulok, office 219, Moscow 127051, Russian Federation;
Post: Leading Research Fellow, Research Centre for Contemporary History of Russian Orthodox Church; Associate Professor, Department of General and Russian Church History and Canon Law;
ORCID: 0000-0003-4334-1035;
Email: a.kost@mail.ru.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.