Vucic: Serb Orthodox Church contributes to survival of Serbs in Croatia, Kosovo

Relations between the Serbian state and the Serb Orthodox Church (SPC) are good and the state is grateful to the SPC for contributing to the survival of Serbs where there is no Serbian state, in Kosovo and in Croatia, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said in Belgrade on Friday after talks with the head of the SPC, Patriarch Irinej.   

"Few would have survived in Lika, Banija, Kordun and other parts of Croatia had it not been for the SPC. The situation is similar in Kosovo and Metohija, where people have remained where there are Serb Orthodox churches and monasteries. We are barely surviving in other areas. The situation is the same in the diaspora, everywhere where there is the SPC, it unifies our people," Vucic said at a news conference he held with the religious dignitary after their meeting.

The Belgrade made said the two discussed the Bosnian Serb entity of Republika Srpska and Vucic reiterated his message of Thursday, given ahead of the sentencing of Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic, that Serbia could not allow any threat to the existence and survival of Republika Srpska, stressing that "the authorities in Belgrade will respect the Dayton Agreement, the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also the territorial integrity of Republika Srpska."

Patriarch Irinej said that he and Vucic were agreed that relations between Serbia and the Bosnian Serb entity were good, and that the SPC would continue protecting the legacy of the Serbian people, its identity and culture.

Vucic noted that "difficult anniversaries" would soon be marked, including the anniversary of the establishment of the World War II Jasenovac concentration camp in Croatia.

Last update: Fri, 25/03/2016 - 16:41

More from Balkan

Dodik says will request lifting of US sanctions against him

Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik has said he will ask the new US administration to withdraw a decision on...

Human Rights Watch: Croatian police forcing asylum seekers back to Serbia

Croatian police are forcing asylum seekers back to Serbia, in some cases using violence, without giving them an...

Serbs plunge into icy waters for Orthodox holiday

Serbian Christian Orthodox believers - and maybe a few adventurers - celebrated the holiday of the Epiphany on...

Bosnian Presidency chair suspected over Serb entity referendum

The Bosnian State Prosecutor's Office said on Thursday that three Serb officials, Presidency Chairman Mladen Ivanic...

Croatian, Serbian ministers of interior discuss migrants

Croatian Interior Minister Vlaho Orepic said on Thursday that he had agreed with his Serbian counterpart Nebojsa...