The book "Relations of the Serbian and Russian Orthodox Churches on the basis of documents from Russian Archives" was published in the Publishing House "Cognition" with the participation of the Foundation for the Support of Christian Culture and Heritage. The author of the new edition is the representative of the Patriarch of Serbia to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Bishop Anthony of Moravich.
Bishop Anthony reconstructed a brief, but important for both Churches, eventful stage of their joint history, covering the period from the liberation of Belgrade in 1944 to the death of His Holiness Patriarch Gabriel of Serbia (Dojic; +1950).
These few years have been a whole epoch filled with hopeful changes for the Russian and Serbian Orthodox Churches, as well as new challenges and difficult trials.
In the Soviet Union, during the years of the Great Patriotic War, the authorities weakened anti-religious persecution. The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia was elected, and many bishops and clergymen were released from the camps. The war and the first post-war years were marked by the restoration of the activity of dioceses, the opening of a number of churches and monasteries for believers, the reunification of the Renovationist schism and Uniates in Western Ukraine.
For the Serbian Orthodox Church, on the contrary, this period was associated with severe trials. Yugoslavia, torn apart and enslaved by the occupiers, became a field of bloody arbitrariness of nationalist forces, who for four years, with the support of the Nazis, carried out genocide of the Serbian population of Croatia, Bosnia and other regions.
The book is primarily devoted to the description of documents from Russian archives, including materials previously inaccessible to researchers from the archive of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate. The author of the publication is in no hurry to give estimates, but helps to feel the heavy and full of uncertainty atmosphere of those years; makes it clear how much inner sacrifice, tact, brotherly love was required in those conditions from the hierarchs of the Serbian and Russian Churches in order not to become an instrument of pressure and manipulation in the hands of the authorities.
The relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Serbian Orthodox Church in this difficult period will remain in history as a testimony of sincere and indissoluble brotherly love. This love was, is and will forever remain the basis of relations between the peoples of the same faith they nurtured.