Religion in Serbia

Religion in Serbia

Serbia is a multireligious country. The dominant religion is Orthodox Christianity (notably the Serbian Orthodox Church), but there are also numerous adherents of Islam (living mostly in Raška region (Sandžak) and the Preševo Valley), and Catholic Christianity (living mostly in northern part of Vojvodina), as well as adherents of other religious groups such are Protestant Christians, Jews, and others.

2002 census

According to the last census in 2002, the most numerous religious groups in Serbia (excluding territory of Kosovo) were:
*Orthodox Christians = 6,371,584
*Catholic Christians = 410,976
*Muslims = 239,658
*Protestant Christians = 80,837
*Jews = 785
*Adherents of Oriental Cults = 530

Orthodox Christianity

Most of the citizens of Serbia are adherents of the Serbian Orthodox Church, while the Romanian Orthodox Church is also present in parts of Vojvodina inhabited by ethnic Romanian minority. Besides Serbs, the ethnic groups of Serbia whose members are mostly adherents of Orthodox Christianity are: Montenegrins, Romanians, Yugoslavs, Roma, Macedonians, Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Russians, Greeks, Vlachs, etc.

The identity of ethnic Serbs was historically largely based on Orthodox Christianity and on the Serbian Orthodox Church, to the extent that some Serb nationalists claimed that those who are not its faithful are not Serbs. However, the conversion of the south Slavs from paganism to Christianity took place before the Great Schism, the split between the Greek East and the Catholic West. After the Schism, those who lived under the Orthodox sphere of influence became Orthodox and those who lived under the Catholic sphere of influence became Catholic. Some ethnologists consider that the distinct Serb and Croat identities relate to religion rather than ethnicity. With the arrival of the Ottoman Empire, some Serbs and Croats converted to Islam. This was particularly, but not wholly, so in Bosnia. The best known Catholic Serb is Ivo Andrić and the best known Muslim Serb is probably either Mehmed Paša Sokolović or Meša Selimović.


:"Main article: Islam in Serbia."

Islam is dominant religion in Sandžak and Preševo Valley, while ethnic groups whose members are mostly adherents of Islam are: Bosniaks, Muslims by nationality, Albanians, Gorani, Turks, Arabs, Ashkali, and Egyptians. A smaller number of ethnic Roma are also adherents of Islam.

Catholic Christianity

Catholic christianity is present mostly in the northern part of Vojvodina, notably in the municipalities with Hungarian ethnic majority and in the multiethnic municipality of Subotica. The ethnic groups whose members are mostly adherents of the Catholic Christianity are: Hungarians, Croats, Bunjevci, Germans, Slovenians, Czechs, Šokci, Poles, etc. A smaller part of Roma, Yugoslavs, and Slovaks are also adherents of the Catholic Christianity. The ethnic Rusyns and a smaller part of the ethnic Ukrainians are adherents of the Eastern Catholic Church.

Protestant Christianity

The largest concentration of the Protestant Christians in Serbia is in the municipality of Bački Petrovac, where the majority of the population are ethnic Slovaks, most of them adherents of Protestant Christianity. Some members of other ethnic groups (especially Hungarians and Germans in proportional terms and Serbs in absolute terms) are also adherents of various forms of Protestant Christianity.Prior to World War II former Yugoslavia was populated by various neo-protestant groups including Jehovah's Withness, Methodists, Seventh Day Adventists and Evangelical Baptists (Nazarene). Many of these groups were situated in the culturally diverse province of Vojvodina. Today there remains only small number of these communities.


:"Main article: Jews in Serbia."

As at 2002, there were 785 Jews in Serbia, most living in Belgrade, Subotica and Pančevo.

ee also

*Religion in Vojvodina
*List of Serb Orthodox monasteries

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