Macedonian Orthodox Church – Ohrid Archbishopric

Macedonian Orthodox Church
–Ohrid Archbishopric
Македонска православна црква
–Охридска архиепископија
St Sophia (Ohrid).jpg
Church of St. Sophia, Ohrid, the first synod church of the Archbishopric of Ohrid, depicted on the church's emblem
PrimateStefan, Metropolitan of Skopje
LanguageChurch Slavonic and Macedonian
HeadquartersSkopje and Ohrid
Territory North Macedonia
Possessions United States
 European Union
Independence1967 from the Serbian Orthodox Church
  • Autonomy recognized in 1959
  • Autocephaly not recognized[1][2][3]

The Macedonian Orthodox Church – Ohrid Archbishopric (MOC-OA; Macedonian: Македонска православна црква – Охридска архиепископија (МПЦ-ОА), tr. Makedonska pravoslavna crkva – Ohridska arhiepiskopija (MPC-OA)), or simply the Macedonian Orthodox Church (MOC; Macedonian: Македонска православна црква (МПЦ), tr. Makedonska pravoslavna crkva (MPC)), is the largest body of Christians in the Republic of North Macedonia. It claims ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the Republic of North Macedonia and is also represented in the Macedonian diaspora. In 1959, the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church granted autonomy to the Macedonian Orthodox Church in the then-Socialist Republic of Macedonia as the restoration of the historic Archbishopric of Ohrid,[1] and it remained in canonical unity with the Serbian Church under their Patriarch. In 1967, on the bicentennial anniversary of the abolition of the Archbishopric of Ohrid, the Macedonian Holy Synod unilaterally announced its autocephaly and independence from the Serbian Orthodox Church. The Serbian Holy Synod denounced the decision and condemned the clergy as schismatic.[4] Thenceforth, the Macedonian Church has remained unrecognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and all the other canonical Orthodox churches in defense of Serbian opposition.[1] Since May 2018 however, the Church′s status has been under examination by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.[5][6] The primate of the Macedonian Orthodox Church is the Metropolitan of Skopje and Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia and of Justiniana Prima.


The Archbishopric of Ohrid circa 1020
Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Alexy I performing a joint ceremony with Metropolitan of Skopje Dositheus II in Skopje, 1962

After the fall of the First Bulgarian Empire, Byzantine Emperor Basil II acknowledged the autocephalous status of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and by virtue of special imperial decrees set up its boundaries, dioceses, property and other privileges. The Archibishopric was seated in Ohrid in the Byzantine theme of Bulgaria and was established in AD 1019 by lowering the rank of the autocephalous Bulgarian Patriarchate and its subjugation to the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.[7][8] In 1767 the Archbishopric was abolished by the Ottoman authorities and annexed to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Efforts were made throughout the nineteenth and the first part of the twentieth centuries to restore the Archdiocese, and in 1874 it became part of the newly established Bulgarian Exarchate. The Christian population of the bishoprics of Skopje and Ohrid voted in 1874 overwhelmingly in favour of joining the Exarchate, and the Bulgarian Exarchate became in control of most of the Macedonian region.

Following Vardar Macedonia's incorporation into Serbia in 1913, several of the Bulgarian Exarchate's dioceses were forcefully taken over by the Serbian Orthodox Church. While the region was occupied by Bulgaria during World War I and World War II, the local dioceses temporarily came under the control of the Bulgarian Exarchate.

Other Languages
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Македонская праваслаўная царква
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Makedonska pravoslavna crkva – Ohridska arhiepiskopija