Religion in the Republic of Macedonia

Religion in the Republic of Macedonia

In the Republic of Macedonia the main religion is Macedonian Orthodox, followed by Islam. There are also many types of other religions practiced in Macedonia including Baptists, Catholics, Protestants, Hindus and Jews.

Demographics of the Religions

Macedonian Orthodoxy

::"see also:Macedonian Orthodox Church

Orthodoxy has had a long history in Macedonia. In 1019 the Archbishopric of Ohrid was established. In 1767 on order of the Sultan, the Archbishopric was abolished by the Turkish authorities and annexed to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries there was an effort to reinstate the Archbishopric of Ohrid. The Macedonian Orthodox Church gained autonomy from the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1959 and declared the restoration of the Archbishopric of Ohrid. On July 19, 1967, the Macedonian Orthodox Church declared autocephaly from the Serbian Orthodox Church. Most Macedonians belong to the Orthodox faith. In 2001 the Church had c.1,350,000 adherants in Macedonia [ [ CIA - The World Factbook - Macedonia ] ] .

Other Christianity in Macedonia

::"see also:Protestants in Macedonia, Macedonian Greek Catholic Church,Serbian Orthodox Church

The Macedonian Catholic Church was established in 1918. It is a Byzantine Rite "sui juris" particular church within the communion of Roman and Eastern Catholic Churches and uses Macedonian in the liturgy. The exarchate was dissolved in 1924. In 2001 the Holy See re-established the Apostolic Exarchate of Macedonia. Currently, members of the Macedonian Catholic Church number about 11,400 [The Eastern Catholic ChurchesStatistics from the Annuario Pontificio 2005] . Most of the Catholics in Macedonia are Albanians.

There is a number of Protestants in Macedonia. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries a number of American missionaries converted villages in the Strumica-Petrich region to Methodism. They still retain the Methodist faith. There is also a small community of Macedonian Baptists which has existed since 1928 [Историја на македонската нација. Блаже Ристовски, 1999, Скопје] .

The Serbian Orthodox Church operates among the Serbians in Macedonia's North. The number of adherants corresponds with the number of Serbs at 36,000.

Islam in Macedonia

::"see also:Islam in Macedonia Islam has had a significant influence in Macedonia since the Ottoman invasions in the 14th and 15th centuries. Many Turks settled in Macedonia and brought along with them Islamic Culture. This is most prominent in the Major Cities of Bitola, Skopje and Tetovo. Many Macedonians and most Albanians converted to Islam, these Macedonian Muslims or Torbeshi generally retained their Macedonian Culture and Customs while many were assimilated as Turks [Niel Simpson, Macedonia;Its Disputed History,Aristoc Press.1994 ] . By the 19th most of the cities were primarily populated by Muslims [Niel Simpson, Macedonia;Its Disputed History,Aristoc Press.1994 ] . The famous painted mosue in Tetovo is a legacy of the country's Ottoman past. Macedonia's Muslim population hovers at around 600,000 as of 2002. An influx of Bosniaks and the high birth rate for Albanians has helped to increase the number of Muslims in the country.

Judaism in Macedonia

::"see also:History of the Jews in the Republic of Macedonia

Today, the Jewish community of the Republic of Macedonia numbers some 200 people. Almost all live in Skopje, with one family in Štip and a single Jew remaining in Bitola [ [ "Macedonia's Jews battle the odds of survival", Katka Krosnar, Centropa Reports] ] .

Other Religions in Macedonia

::"see also:Hinduism in Macedonia


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