Serbia Church Records

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General Religious Overview

  • Religious history in Serbia is from Yugoslavia, since Serbia and Montenegro, now two separate countries, have only been separated from each other for a few years relative to their histories.

Serbia’s first Christians were probably Jews converted by the Apostle Paul in the 4th century, and it’s organization was recognized by Rome and Constantinople. Several Christians were sent out as missionaries from Serbia not long after the arrival of Christianity.

  • In the 9th century, the Byzantinium missionaries, Cyril and Methodius translated the liturgy into the national language.
  • In the year 1054, the Great Schism occurred, which divided the people based on religious affiliations which exist to this very day.
  • Missionary work from Serbia continued through the 20th century, even under communist rule. During the 1990’s the Serbian Orthodox missionaries were largely sent out from Yugoslavia.

Protestantism, Lutheranism from Germany and Calvinism from Switzerland increased in Yugoslavia during the 16th century. The Counter Reformation kept the Protestants in check. During the Counter Reformation, the Protestants were under a lot of persecution. Several other small Protestant denominations exist today: Brethren, Baptist, Nazarenes, and Methodists. There is currently no state religion in Serbia. The dominant Church is the Serbian Orthodox Church


Serbian Orthodox Church Records

History

The Serbian Orthodox Church is one of the autocephalous orthodox christian churches. It is the second oldest Slavic Orthodox Church. The Patriarch of Serbia serves as first among equals in his church; the current patriarch is Irinej. The Church achieved autocephalous status in 1219 under the leadership of St. Sava, becoming the independent Archeparchy of Žiča. Its status was elevated to that of a patriarchate in the 14th century, and was known afterwards as Patriarchate of Peć. This patriarchate was abolished by the Ottoman Turks in the 18th century. The modern Serbian Orthodox Church was re-established in 1920 after the unification of the Patriarchate of Karlovci, the Metropolitanate of Belgrade, and the Metropolitanate of Montenegro. Wikipedia:Serbian Orthodox Church

Record Types and Contents

The areas of Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Montenegro are predominantly Orthodox, although some Catholics are found in the mixed state of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Catholic parishes in Bosnia-Herzegovina introduced parish registers in the second half of the 18th century. Orthodox parishes in Serbia were instructed to keep records of christenings, marriages, and deaths in 1837. Yet, at least in some areas of central Serbia, it was not until the 1870's when there began to be reliable keeping of vital records. Yugoslavia Research Guide

16th century to present: Records are kept in regional archives of the federal republics. Some records are also found in church archives. Recent records (less than 100 years old) are in local municipal and parish registry offices.

Records typically contain:

  • Births and Christenings: Name of child, date of birth, and christening; occupation and residence of parents, witnesses; sometimes parents' marriage date.
  • Marriages: Names and ages of bride and groom, occupation of couple, parents, marital status of couple, residence and places of origin.
  • Death and Burials: Name of the deceased, date, place of death, marital status, names of parents, sometimes age and cause of death, sometimes occupation, place of burial, names of survivors, sometimes date and place of birth of the deceased.

Record Availability

  • On-line Records:
Kalocsa Archdiocesan Archives Church books from the former Bács-Bodrog county, currently in southern Hungary and northern Serbia.
  • Off-line Records:
See Serbia Letter Writing Guide
Contact the Serbian Orthodox Church, or
Contact the Archives of Serbia.
Archives of Serbia
Arhiv Srbije
ul. Karnegijeva 2
11000 Beograd
SERBIA
Transcript copies of registers exist for the province of Vojvodina and are found in the archive of that province:
Archives of Vojvodina (Serbian Autonomous Province)
Arhiv Vojvodine
Dunavska 35
21000 Novi Sad
SERBIA

Record Availability

  • Online records-None found. Family Search Historical Records-No Islamic religious records are found.
  • Off-line records-Contact the Serbian Archives.
Archives of Serbia
Arhiv Srbije
ul. Karnegijeva 2
11000 Beograd
SERBIA

Roman Catholic Church

The Catholic Church in Serbia is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome. There are 356,957 Catholics in Serbia according to the 2011 census, which is roughly 5% of the population. Roman Catholics are mostly concentrated in several municipalities in northern Vojvodina, and are mostly members of ethnic minorities, such as Hungarians and Croats. ‘’Wikipedia:Roman Catholicism in Serbia’’

Record Description

Baptismal, marriage and death records may exist in Catholic church records. ‘’Yugoslavia Research Guide’’

Record Availability

Križevci Catholic Church of the Byzantine Tradition
M. Tita 64, SCG, 25233 Ruski Krstur, Serbia
Telephone: (025)703-836

Search Strategies and Tutorials

sters exist for the province of Vojvodinaand are found in the archive of that province.