Voices from Russia

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Conference of European Churches Demands Release of Orthodox Archbishop Jovan in Macedonia

00 Archbishop Jovan in Prison. 06.12


SIR agency reported that the Conference of European Churches (CEC) stated in a document published the day after its recent assembly (Budapest, 3-8 July), “The detention of Archbishop Jovan Vraniškovski by the authorities of the Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) is linked to the fact that he’s exercised his human right of religious freedom”. Archbishop Jovan has been in a Skopje prison since December 2011, without trial or sentence. He faces charges of fuelling inter-religious hatred. Archbishop Jovan returned the Archdiocese of Ohrid to the authority of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC). It’d been part of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, founded in 1967 with a unilateral declaration of autocephaly from the SPC, that is, a schismatic organisation.

According to SIR, this is the Archbishop Jovan’s third arrest. Therefore, the CEC requested the competent UN and EU authorities “to investigate this case carefully”, to verify, firstly, “if the conditions of detention are in conformity with the rules established by the Council of Europe”. In addition, the CEC requested the FYROM government and its Prime Minister, Nikola Gruevski, “to guarantee a fair trial, and to release the Archbishop immediately” whilst awaiting trial, whose hearings, according to SPC sources, continue to be postponed. The CEC invited European Churches “to unite themselves in prayer and in solidarity” with the Archbishop, and to “send letters of protest to the responsible authorities”.

11 July 2013



Monday, 14 May 2012

SPC Holy Synod Protests Sentence Against Bishop in Macedonia


Yesterday, 11 May, after years of persecution, harassment, arrests, and imprisonment, His Beatitude Jovan Vraniškovski, Archbishop of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skopje, renowned throughout all of Orthodoxy and recognised canonical prelate of the ancient Autonomous Archbishopric of Ohrid, received a sentence of 2½ years in prison under false charges of alleged fraud and embezzlement. This was the result of a politically-motivated and staged Stalinist pseudo-trial, an event obviously demanded by the schismatic organisation calling itself the “Macedonian Orthodox Church”. The only reason for his sentence was his unwavering commitment to the unity of Christ’s Church. He insisted on being in communion with the SPC, thereby being in union with universal Orthodoxy worldwide; he waged a persistent spiritual battle against the schismatic mentality and opposed anti-Ecclesiastical ethno-phyletism.

In contemporary Europe, if not in the whole civilised world, this case was unique; the authorities formally ordered the performance of an act of vicious violence and atrocity upon the Orthodox Church and Her lawful senior representatives. In the process, they flagrantly violated both their own laws and international norms and conventions. Fortunately, several diplomats, along with Orthodox figures, as well as members of organisations and institutions dedicated to the protection of human rights and religious freedom, attended the “trial”, and, thus, we can make an accurate report and present a clear picture of the sad and ugly scene staged in the Veles courtroom to the public.

The Holy Synod of the SPC, the canonical Mother Church of the Autonomous Archbishopric of Ohrid, condemns with the deepest moral indignation the unrivalled violence and persecution conducted under the guise of legal order; we always keep the Autonomous Archbishopric of Ohrid in our prayers and in all evangelical love, especially with their Shepherd, who gladly accepted and endures suffering for our forefathers’ faith as well as for the unity of Christ’s Holy Orthodox Church. In summation, the Holy Synod of the SPC calls upon:

  • all sister Orthodox Churches throughout the oikumene
  • all other Christian Churches in the world
  • the World Council of Churches, the Conference of European Churches, and other Christian organisations
  • the spiritual leaders of major world religions
  • the governments and relevant public authorities of legally-recognised states
  • international institutions
  • institutions and organisations devoted to human rights and religious freedom
  • all people of good will

to provide spiritual, moral, legal, and any other possible support to the prisoner of conscience Archbishop Jovan, and to contribute to his release from prison as soon as possible.

12 May 2012

Official Website of the Autonomous Archbishopric of Ohrid


Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.