Missions and Diaspora

From the middle of the nineteenth century and during the whole of the twentieth century, many of the faithful in the Serbian Orthodox Church emigrated to America; later emigrations were to western Europe, South America, Australia and Canada. Causes of migration were varied, from economic to political, and the process of emigrating had several phases. Émigré circles first established parishes and after these bishoprics of the Serbian Orthodox Church, because they held that the Church was a basis for traditional national culture. Bishoprics in the diaspora were under the jurisdiction of the Serbian Orthodox Church, although they had some administrative freedom for conducting their internal affairs according to the laws of the country in which they existed. During the 1960s a schism occurred inside the Serbian Orthodox Church, with one section of believers under former American-Canadian bishoprics, seceding to the new breakaway church. The schism was partly healed at the beginning of the 1990s. In the period between the two World Wars, the Serbian Orthodox Church had jurisdiction over some bishoprics in Czechoslovakia and Hungary, which were taken away from it after 1945. Today the Serbian Orthodox Church has churches in North America, South America, Africa, Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

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