In order to explain the equality of the Orthodox Church and the Serbian state, and to understand that of all the countries of the Western Balkans, only Serbia as a state does not take any action without the blessing of the Church, we must remember the words of the Patriarch of SOC, who describes this synchronization as follows: “The state and the Church, like the two heads of the eagle on our flag, must unite their efforts in order to preserve as a people the soul and spiritual identity.” In this matter, all the leaders of SOC, and therefore the Church, have received the support of the State. The financial support that SOC receives from the Serbian state is extremely non-transparent; moreover, it is concealed and justified by legal aspects. The legitimacy of this approach to SOC derives, among other things, from an article of the Law on Churches and Religious Communities, specifically Article 11, paragraph 2, which states that the Serbian Orthodox Church “plays an extraordinary historical, state-building and civilizing role in shaping, preserving and developing the identity of the Serbian people.”
The Serbian Orthodox Church has never felt, and does not feel, obliged to disclose the sources and nature of its funding. This distinguishes it from all other religious communities in Serbia. The SOC, in addition to the funds it receives through the Administration for Cooperation with Churches and Religious Communities, also receives significant funding through the so-called budget line 481, which is intended for non-governmental organizations. In addition, SOC also receives funds collected by the Ministry of Justice, d. For the Church of St. Sava in Belgrade, SOC has been receiving funds for years through the regular sale of additional compulsory stamps, which the government sets by decree. Funds regularly disbursed to religious communities through the Administration for Cooperation with Churches and Religious Communities are controlled, while donations, especially those from budget reserves, remain in the gray area, so it is not known if and who controls them.
The repair and restoration of the Church of St. Sava in Belgrade cost the Serbian state about 50 million euros. President Aleksandar Vučić did not consider this amount of money high, but proudly declared that there had been no major investments for the Church of St. Sava in the last fifty years. “I am proud that we as a state have helped the most…. in a special and indirect way, the Church of St. Sava will become the new Saint Sophia and with the Virgin above the altar, which is almost an identical copy of the icon in Saint Sophia, and thus Saint Sava will become a kind of new Saint Sophia,” Serbian head of state Vučić described the symbolic purpose of the financial spending.Due to this cooperation and financial strengthening of SOC, a meeting was held in 2021 between President Aleksandar Vučić, former Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Milorad Dodik and Patriarch Profirije with the aim of reaching an agreement on the construction of the monument “All Serb Shrine”. As stated after the meeting, this project is the construction of a memorial to the victims of the Jasenovac concentration camp, as well as “to all other Serbs who died of crimes committed in territories not under the control of the Serbian people.” The construction of this memorial is planned for Donja Gradina in northwestern Bosnia and Herzegovina. For the project, Serbia will provide 80 percent, while Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina will provide the rest of the funding. This project has undoubtedly been considered and is considered unacceptable by other authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well, since it was basically considered a project of the “Serb world,” from which neither SOC nor official Belgrade ever distanced themselves. There were negative reactions not only from official Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also from the Croats to this construction, which was seen more as a political work than as a memorial to the murdered.
In the course of these synchronizations, there are also other plans for the restoration of
SOC religious buildings, as it is said “outside Serbia, where there is a Serbian church”. The head of the RS unit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik, after the meeting with Patriarch Profirije, in addition to supporting the restoration of Serbian churches through this unit, wrote: “The Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian people are one and only united and gathered around SOC, we can preserve our identity.”The involvement of SOC in projects that heat more blood and increase the enmity between the peoples of the Balkans is the opposite of the historically unchanged nature of this mechanism in principle and in practice of a religious, but deeply Serbian state! The historical ambition is the cover for all actions and acts of the state and the Serbian Orthodox Church. /TheGeopost