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The World Alliance for International Friendship through the churches and religious and political rapprochement between Bulgaria and Yugoslavia in the 1920's and 1930's.


From the middle of the nineteenth century up to the 1930's, Serbian-Bulgarian and later Yugoslav-Bulgarian relations were marked by conflicts over Macedonia, the national revival of the Macedonian population, and wars. The "Macedonian Question," that is, the status of Macedonia, though officially settled with treaties of Bucharest, London, and Paris (1912, 1913, 1919), remained a constant problem in the Balkans throughout the interwar years. (1) During the first stage, in the 1920's, the main issue on the agenda was the enforcement of the peace agreements and the curbing of the Macedonian nationalist movement. In the second stage, in the 1930s, a gradual rapprochement between the two countries took place, in which the Serbian and the Bulgarian Orthodox Churches played an essential part. (2)

In 1937, the representatives of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the Tsardom of Bulgaria signed a Pact of Eternal Friendship. The declaration of friendship was a result of a process of political and religious rapprochement, which had begun at the end of the 1920's. In this context, the influence of the ecumenical movement--especially a peace organization, the World Alliance for Promoting International Friendship through the Churches (hereafter, W.A.)--has to be highlighted. The history of the ecumenical movement briefly mentions that discussions held among the leading ecumenical representatives and Balkan religious leaders led to an exchange of visits between official delegations of the Serbian and Bulgarian churches. These visits paved the way for similar action on the political level. (3) The activity of the ecumenical movement and the discussions and visits mentioned above have been largely neglected in the national histories of the two countries and in the history of international relations between the two world wars. To understand fully the chain of events and the role the W.A. had in the process of rapprochement, we first examine the foreign policy and the ideology of the two countries, as well as the activity of the W.A.

I. The World Alliance and Its National Committees in Yugoslavia and Bulgaria

The W. A. was established in 1914 as a successor to an Anglo- German organization that was founded after mutual visits by British and German church leaders and theologians in 1908 and 1909 in order to promote friendly relations between the two nations. (4) By 1920, the longer name was usually shortened to the "World Alliance for International Friendship through the Churches."

After the First World War, the W.A. gathered for its first meeting in October, 1919. There was a brief confrontation, followed by conciliation between the German and the French representatives. First, it was decided to support the proposition presented by Swedish Archbishop Nathan Soderblom to convene a global Christian conference to discuss the challenges that the societies and the churches were facing. (5) Second, the W.A. dealt with its constitution and appointed its officers. (6) Third, the W.A. declared its support to the League of Nations, proposing that the League accept all states that had expressed their wish to join the League and calling on the League to respect human rights and religious freedom. (7)

One of the cornerstones of the W.A.'s identity and ideology was the understanding that the organization was the spiritual equivalent of the League of Nations, the soul of the League. As Sir Willoughby Dickinson stated in 1920, the League of Nations was based on those principles of international Christian fellowship, the recognition of which the W.A. was formed to encourage. (8) The League of Nations was seen as a valuable piece of machinery for dealing with international troubles in a peaceful manner, but, as the W.A. stated, a will on the part of the people was needed in order to work the machine in a peaceful way. (9) From the League's viewpoint, the W.A. was one of many social organizations surrounding the League. At the beginning of the 1920's, when the number of such organizations was still limited, the resolutions of the W.A. even reached the Council of the League, but they failed to impress the diplomats, and no member took any action regarding them. (10)

As an instrument for promoting peace and friendship, the W.A. was interested in general problems of the world political order. Most of these problems were the outcomes of the war, such as the question of disarmament and the problem of minorities, including religious minorities. Among other ecumenical initiatives, it was certainly the most political and politically oriented organization. In the 1920's, the W.A. played an especially important role in the ecumenical movement. From 1925, the Life and Work movement steadily held a leading role in the movement. (11) The W.A. reached its peak in 1928 and thereafter faced a continuous decline, which was accelerated by the financial crisis beginning in 1929 and the failure of the World Disarmament Conference in 1934. Therefore, the emerging regimes, especially National Socialism in Germany, left the W.A. in a paralyzed state. (12) It did not possess methods to counter the ideology and policy advanced by totalitarian regimes. (13)

The methods used by the W.A. were generally those of the nineteenth-century campaigns for such causes as the abolition of slavery. The aim was to influence public opinion on key issues to such an extent that governments could not ignore the voice of the people. Another method included establishing relations between church representatives and politicians. (14) Over the years, work with youth, seen as the future public-opinion leaders, gained increasing attention. (15)

In addition to national councils, over the years the W.A. increasingly emphasized the importance of regional conferences to foster relations between neighbors and to focus on issues related with neighboring societies, such as minority questions. (16)

Harjam Dam, in his book on the history of the W.A., correctly pointed to a misunderstanding that it was an organization of individual Christians that did not represent the official position of the churches. There were, in fact, two types of councils: those based on the principle of individuality, and those that officially represented the churches. It is true that the principle of individuality was characteristic of the ideology of the W.A., and that the most successful and the largest council, the National Council of the United States, did represent the individual approach. At the same time, the councils in Finland, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Belgium, Portugal, Czechoslovakia, and Romania consisted of official church delegates. According to Dam, the council members in Yugoslavia and in Bulgaria also officially represented the churches. (17)

The success of the W.A. depended mostly on the activity of the local national councils and their success in influencing politicians and societies. Unfortunately, without the W.A.'s necessary ideological and theological background activity, it was not able to guarantee real success. By the end of the 1920's, a change of the W.A.'s working methods seemed inevitable. It had not defined its dogmatic basis, while its ideology was extremely vague in formulation. The W.A.'s activity relied on the work done in national councils to influence politicians and societies. One has to agree with historians Dam and Darril Hudson, who have said that, despite the fact that the W.A.'s appeals and resolutions were often nothing more than a kind of "Christian blessing," the W.A. "continued its discussion and consideration of political issues on a plane once removed from reality." (18)

The problem was discussed and analyzed by the members of the W.A. In 1932 the issue was raised at a meeting in Czechoslovakia by German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who warned the ecumenical movement and the W.A. that "without a coherent theology of the Church's public role, the ecumenical movement risked being at the whim of political trends." (19) Unfortunately, as far as the W.A. was concerned, there were no results; therefore, in the 1930's the organization was largely ignored by the international public. In describing the relations of the W.A. with the rest of the ecumenical movement, it was much the same. Although at the beginning of the 1930's Henry Louis Henriod became the joint secretary of the W.A. and the Universal Council of Life and Work, the W.A. decided not to join the initiative presented in 1937 by the Life and Work and Faith and Order movements to establish the World Council of Churches.

II. The Orthodox Community and the World Alliance

The Orthodox community joined the W.A. after World War I. (20) At the beginning of 1920, the Chief International Relations organizer of the W.A., George Nasmyth--during his visit to Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (KSCS)--met with church leaders and representatives who expressed their wish to join the international ecumenical movement and the W.A. Nasmyth described Southeastern Europe and the tense relations between the Balkan nations as the "storm centre of international relations" in his report to the Management Committee of the W.A. In his opinion, religion was the only force of enormous power and al most unlimited opportunity for service that had not yet been used for peace-promotion purposes. (21)

Nasmyth's viewpoint on the great importance of religion in the Balkans was true, but his opinion on the harmony among different religious groups must be approached with some reservation, because there was, in fact, a misunderstanding between the Bulgarian Orthodox Church (BOC) and the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC). As the relationship between Bulgaria and Yugoslavia is inseparable from the history of the Orthodox churches in the two countries, the problems between the churches of course had an impact on the relationship between the two countries, being a precondition and an important factor in the rapprochement process. Furthermore, according to the principles of church-and-state relations in Orthodox countries, the church was considered to be an essential part of state-building and often took part in state functions, particularly in fostering foreign relations. (22) Thus, the contribution of the W.A. and its impact on the relations between the two states must be analyzed in more detail.

Another fact that must be analyzed with some caution is the membership principle of the W. A.'s national committees in Yugoslavia and Bulgaria. As noted above, according to Dam, the council members in Yugoslavia and Bulgaria officially represented the churches. However, according to Yugoslav religious media, W.A. activity in Yugoslavia was considered to be a private initiative. (23) Having said that, it is also true that the W.A.'s national committee members held high positions in the two churches and in their societies, which enabled them to conduct church-and-state foreign policy in a more private and noncommittal manner. (24)

The W.A. National Committee of the KSCS (NCKSCS), held its first meeting in February, 1921. It included seven representatives from the Orthodox Church, seven from the Lutheran Church, and three from the Reformed Church. During the first years, the presidency rotated among several clergy from the SOC. (25) From 1925, the president of the NCKSCS was Irinej Ciric, Bishop of Novi Sad. (26) In Yugoslav media it was repeatedly stated that "the main merit of maintaining links with foreign fraternal Churches belonged to Bishop Irinej, who was the real spiritus agens in all such ideas and movements." From 1929, Irinej belonged to the Executive Committee of the W.A.; from 1930, he served as a chair of the Management Committee; and during the final years of the W.A., from 1939, he served as the president of the entire organization. (27)

In addition to Irinej, there were several ecumenically minded bishops and theologians who took part in W.A. activity, most of whom were also active in the work of the YMCA and other international ecumenical organizations. (28) Among the members of the NCKSCS were Archimandrite Valerian Pribicevic, Archpriest Gabriel Milosevic, episcopal administrator Adam Veres (the first bishop of the Evangelical Church of Slovakia, with its seat in Ilok, from 1929), Bishop Mark Kalogjera (the bishop of the Old Catholic Church of Croatia), Senior Jacob Jahn (Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession, from 1931, the German Evangelical Christian Church of the Augsburg Confession), among others. (29) There was a separate secretary for the Protestant members of the NCKSCS from the start, the first being Samuel Schumacher, a Reformed pastor of Petrovopolje. (30)

The Bulgarian National Council (BNC), also established in 1921, was led from the beginning by the Metropolitan of Sofia, Stefan (Gheorgiev), who, like Irinej, was one of the leading representatives of the entire W.A. (31) From the early stages of the W.A., Archbishop Stefan belonged to the Management Committee. He was an influential church leader, one of the key people representing the Orthodox community in the W.A. From 1927 he served as a member of its administrative board. (32) Another member whose activity had an impact throughout the W.A. was Prof. Stefan Zankov, who at first served as a secretary of the BNC and in 1933 was appointed as a special secretary of the W.A. for the entire Orthodox community. (33) The vice-president of the BNC was Bishop Paissij of Znepole. At first, there was a corresponding secretary for the evangelical denominations; Pastor D. N. Furnajieff (Evangelical Church of Sofia, Bulgaria), who filled that post, later became the longstanding treasurer of the BNC. (34)

The fact that the W.A. appointed a secretary for the Orthodox community proves the importance the Orthodox community had in the Alliance. A precondition for achieving a stronghold within the W.A. was the influential position the churches had in the societies of Southeastern European countries. However, there is another, more problematic side to this--the burning issues that had emerged in the same societies; it was precisely this reason that the Orthodox community gained so much attention in the W.A.

As in Western or Eastern Europe, each country in Southeastern Europe had its own problems to tackle, and the internal issues of each of them had to be resolved first. They were mainly the product of the national awakenings in the second half of the nineteenth century, the results of the Balkan wars, the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, and the aftermath of World War I. These conflicts not only influenced the internal situation of each country but also had an impact on foreign relations with neighboring countries.

It is no surprise that these problems were mentioned in the reports of national committees. Greece, for example, dealt mostly with the consequences of Turkish repression against Greek civilians, whereas the NCKSCS tackled a problem of minorities, which, according to the report of the NCKSCS, was a new challenge to be faced. Interestingly enough, the question of minorities in the context of foreign relations was not on the agenda of the national committees until the mid-1920's. Both the Bulgarian and Serbian national committees from the beginning organized public events to promote the ideas of the W.A. and considered it necessary to get their governments to support the organization's aims. (35)

To some extent they succeeded, so when Dickinson made his first visit to the KSCS in 1921, Dr. Vojislav Janjic (later Minister of Religion) organized meetings for him with the Foreign Minister, the Minister of Religion (Public Worship), and representatives of the SOC and Protestant churches in the KSCS, who were members of the NCKSCS of the W.A. (36) The impression Dickinson had from the visit was twofold: He had heard complaints from the Protestants about the violation of religious freedom and human rights of minorities; and he had conciliatory discussions during his visit and therefore believed that the W.A. was doing the right thing in promoting friendly relations. He believed that the KSCS in principle respected the rights of minorities; however, he remained cautious because of the centralizing policy of the state--a policy that claimed Serbia to have a central position in the state. (37)

To maximize the effect of its work in the region, the W.A. initiated regional conferences, the first of which was organized in Novi Sad in July, 1923. It was attended by delegates from the national committees of the KSCS, Romania, and Hungary. The conference adopted a resolution on the racial, religious, and linguistic rights of minorities and the tasks of the church in the protection of these rights. (38) Dickinson, who in the 1920's chaired the International Federation of League of Nations Societies and promoted the ideas of the League of Nations all over the world, visited national councils from Constantinople to Athens in 1926. On that occasion, he reported: "The two chief danger spots of Europe lay in the Balkans and on the German-Polish frontier and every action which tends to remove misunderstandings between the peoples of these countries has undoubted value in the preservation of world peace." (39)

A resolution emphasizing the need to foster friendly relations among the Balkan countries, first adopted in Athens, was once again presented at a Balkan regional conference that was held in Sofia in 1927. It was suggested that it would be a real achievement to organize Orthodox conferences, to foster cooperation between Balkan theological faculties, and even to publish a journal for the Orthodox community. (40) These statements were, however, overshadowed by the growing tensions between the churches and states of Bulgaria and the KSCS.

III. The World Alliance--A Mediator in the Rapprochement Process between Bulgarian and Serbian Orthodox Churches

After World War I the Tsardom of Bulgaria and its church were isolated. Along with other Central Power countries, Bulgaria had lost the war, and foreign relations of the BOC were limited because of the tense relationship with the Ecumenical Patriarchate. (41) The SOC, at the same time, gained a stronger foothold within the Orthodox community than before the war. After the war the SOC, in principle, supported the stance of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and considered the BOC to be a schismatic church. (42)

In 1921, during the first council meeting of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, where Metropolitan Stefan represented the BOC, Serbian Patriarch Demetrio did not allow Stefan to prolong his stay in Sremski Karlovac. It was Nikola Pasic, the prime minister of the KSCS, who orchestrated this policy toward Stefan. (43) His visit had a follow-up in the Serbian press, where a number of critical articles were published. Most importantly, they criticized the decision to accept Bulgaria as a member of the League of Nations. The Bulgarians were seen as war criminals; therefore, the decision to accept the Bulgarian Metropolitan on the soil of the KSCS was criticized. (44) Having become more influential in the Balkan region after World War I, they used their influence to put pressure on Bulgaria and its church and to demand reparations. In particular, the KSCS Ministry of Foreign Affairs was very suspicious of the activities of Stefan, as the leader of the BOC; this affected bilateral relations in general. According to a report from May, 1923, these suspicions were caused by the Metropolitan's alleged activities in Switzerland during the war, including his connections with representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church. (45)

Criticism and suspicions varied with reconciliation and a willingness to establish friendlier relations. An article published in the official newspaper of the SOC, Glasnik Srpske Pravoslavne Patrijarsije (Glasnik SPP) in 1923, stated that the BOC had not been entirely in agreement with the Bulgarian government at the time of the Balkan wars. The newspaper referred to an article published in a Bulgarian religious magazine, Pastirsko delo, in which the church had distanced itself from the atrocities in Serbia, declaring that they had been against the war and asking for forgiveness. Here, Stefan's escape from Bulgaria and stay in Switzerland during the war was mentioned in a positive context. (46) Nevertheless, a year later, Glasnik SPP bluntly declared that the Bulgarian people had in the past and were in the present acting against the Serbian people with the blessing and support of Bulgarian priests. (47)

The BOC managed to end its isolation by joining the ecumenical movement, thereby helping to establish diplomatic relations with some of Bulgaria's neighboring countries. (48) This can be considered one of the two major achievements of the W.A. The other was a forum created by the W.A. for Balkan churches to negotiate issues that were related to the outcomes of the Balkan wars and World War I.

In 1924, Bishop Nikolaj Velimirovic, a leading member of the NCKSCS, said in connection with a plan to convene an ecumenical meeting that the Bulgarian schism was a bilateral problem between Constantinople and the BOC and had nothing to do with other Orthodox churches. In fact, while some members of the Orthodox community took notice of the dispute, the rest of the community was neutral concerning the matter. As the churches worked together in the W.A., Nikolaj considered it impossible for the W.A. to justify its name without the participation of the BOC. (49)

Publicly, the SOC considered the BOC to be its equal. (50) In reality, however, the SOC was rather cautious; therefore, bilateral relations remained modest until the end of 1920's. At a Council meeting of the SOC in 1928, after analyzing the activity of the W.A., it was decided to monitor the BOC. Although speeches were delivered to promote cooperation between the two churches, in the end it was stressed that cooperation should remain unchanged at the level of exchanging information. (51)

In September, 1927, a regional conference of the W. A. took place in Sofia, with participants from three Balkan countries: Bulgaria, the KSCS, and Romania. The Greek delegation did not participate because of a conflict on the Greek-Bulgarian border. Dickinson presided and remained in Sofia after the conference to discuss the question of minorities. A clear sign of openness for friendlier relations was the fact that Bulgarian clergy served a solemn liturgy together with Bishop Irinej. (52) In general, the conference advocated for a deeper commitment to foster friendly relations between and among the Balkan states and societies. To achieve this goal, an idea was presented to establish an organization of National Orthodox Churches, based on common faith and Orthodox Christian canonical principles. In an article published after the conference in the newspaper Vesnik, the BOC was praised for its work and for educating young scholars. (53)

The willingness to cooperate was mutual, though it did not mean that the KSCS had overcome the umbrage of the past or that Bulgaria and its church were prepared to give up claims on Macedonia and tolerate the policy of its neighbors in areas that they considered to be their territory. Other issues involved the refugees who were staying in Bulgaria and the Bulgarian minority in the KSCS. The BNC raised the issue of refugees in Bulgaria in 1926 during the W.A. Management Committee meeting in Lausanne, but, as it did not provoke interest among the other Balkan national committees who were authorized by the Management Committee to discuss the matter, the issue was postponed and was discussed during the debate, which started in 1929. It had no positive effect on the relations between the two churches. Already presented in the mid-i92o's, the demands of the BNC became louder after 1929 and had a profound impact on the bi- and multilateral relations among Balkan countries and their churches in the following years.

The national committee reports published in 1928 allude to the emerging conflict over minorities. The KSCS report praised its own policies--minorities were represented in the parliament--and criticized the Bulgarian government for supporting illegitimate activities on the territory of the KSCS. According to the report, this issue was a serious obstacle to the W.A.'s gaining a broader reception of its work. The BNC mentioned that it had dealt with Bulgarian minorities living in neighboring countries and stated that the work unfortunately showed no results. (54)

A regional conference, which was to be held in the Spring of 1929, might have eased the situation, but, because the constitution was suspended and a personal royal dictatorship was introduced by King Alexander of Yugoslavia, the conference was postponed, and tensions escalated. In the Summer of 1929 Metropolitan Stefan submitted a memorandum to the W.A. on violence against the Bulgarian minority in Yugoslavia, which he saw as a threat to peace in the Balkans. It is fair to suggest that he represented the views of the Tsardom of Bulgaria. As an instrument for peace, the W.A. was therefore obliged to find a peaceful solution to the conflict through its network. At the same time, the Serbian clergy were criticized for their views and activities during the Ottoman rule, in the Bulgarian journal, Tsarkoven vesnik. (55)

The appeal was put on the agenda of the Management Committee session in September, 1929, in Avignon. Before the discussion, a private meeting had been organized, wherein the representatives of the SOC and the BOC decided to remove the memorandum from the agenda of the W.A. until further notice and, instead, to organize meetings of the two national committees to resolve the situation. (56) According to a report by Bishop Irinej, sent after the meeting to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the Yugoslav side agreed as an act of friendship that the first meeting was to be held in Sofia. The meetings were supposed to result in a decision on convening a regional conference, which was to be held in Belgrade. (57)

As there was no settlement, and the regional conference was postponed, the W.A. discussed the question once again in 1930 and decided to intervene by sending the leading representatives of the W.A. to Bulgaria and Yugoslavia to reach an agreement between the two sides. In January, 1931, honorary secretaries Henry Atkinson and Jules Jezequel first visited Yugoslavia, thereafter Bulgaria--and Yugoslavia for the second time. It was agreed that the regional conference of four neighboring countries should take place in May, 1931. However, during their visit to Bulgaria, the BNC refused to accept the decision to organize a regional conference before a bilateral meeting. Therefore, a preliminary meeting was agreed upon to take place at the beginning of May, 1931. These terms were accepted by the Yugoslav National Committee (YNC), and the honorary secretaries left Belgrade with an agreement to summon the regional conference after a private meeting between the two parties--both to be held in May, 1931. (58)

By March, all the necessary arrangements for the conference had been made. Unfortunately, at the last minute, the YNC refused to visit Bulgaria, because it felt insulted by a speech delivered by Metropolitan Stefan at a funeral in Sofia, where he had mentioned that the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was oppressing the Bulgarians in its territory. The YNC was now in a difficult position, because they had promised to send their representatives to Sofia but had failed to do so. Bishop Irinej, in a letter to Dickinson and Friedrich Siegmund-Schultze, pointed out that the YNC was willing to ignore Stefan's speech, as long as his attitude did not prevail as the general line of Bulgarian policy. Dickinson and Siegmund-Schultze expressed their hope of finding a peaceful solution. (59) In June, 1931, the W.A. meeting of the Executive Committee discussed Irinej's letter that explained that the YNC had intended to go to Sofia but that they were prevented by "certain events." (60)

In this context it comes as no surprise that the bilateral relations between two churches worsened at the beginning of the 1930's. There were a few signals of relief, but in general the conflict between the two churches escalated. (61) In 1930 the question of bilateral relations was on the agenda of the SOC Council, where it was once again decided to monitor the BOC. (62) At the same time, a debate on the history and the relations between the two countries began in the pages of Bulgarian religious journals Crkveni dnevnik and Pastirsko delo and the Yugoslav journal Vesnik. (63) There were no signs of tension between Yugoslav state authorities and the representatives of the SOC, (64) but it seems that the steps taken by the state authorities--withholding permission for the church to participate in a meeting with the BOC representatives--had put the clergy in an uncomfortable position. (65)

Metropolitan Stefan of the BOC planned to issue a statement at the Cambridge (U.K.) conference of the Management Committee on the discrimination against Bulgarian minorities in Romania, Greece, and Yugoslavia. The first contact in Cambridge clearly signalled a clash ahead; however, after private talks between the parties, the situation was once again eased, so the discussions that followed could be described as more constructive than emotional. While it did not mean that the conference reached an agreement that would have been satisfying for both parties, there was a significant proposal added to the Balkan regional conference resolution: The Greeks offered a solution by proposing that the next Balkan regional conference could be held in a country other than Bulgaria or Yugoslavia, if the two countries should in the near future fail to come to an agreement. (66)

As it was thought to be a good solution to end the status quo, the W.A. proposed to organize the next Balkan regional conference in Bucharest. The Bulgarians and the Yugoslavs were willing to accept the decision, although it did cause unrest. In the annual BNC report for 1931, the committee described the W.A.'s reputation in Bulgaria as "of pessimistic character," because, in analyzing the two major issues that the W.A. focused on--disarmament and minorities--Bulgaria in both cases felt that the W.A. had failed them. The Bulgarian committee also expressed its deep regret that the question of minorities was removed from the agenda of the Bucharest meeting, although it had been accepted at first. (67)

Since 1929, Metropolitan Stefan had aimed to present a memorandum to attract public attention to the violation of human rights of Bulgarian minorities in neighboring countries. However, the Yugoslav delegation had managed to remove the issue from the agenda through negotiations. Nevertheless, the memorandum was once again put on the agenda at the W. A. Management Committee meeting in Geneva in August, 1932. According to the minutes of the meeting, the memorandum was followed by extensive discussion. Although Bishop Irinej and the Yugoslav representatives did not agree with the estimates of 2,000,000 Bulgarians who had lost their ecclesiastical independence outside of Bulgaria and whose civil rights were violated, the Bulgarian delegation managed for the first time to achieve what they had come for; after a discussion the W.A. decided to appoint a minorities commission of seven members to discuss the matter. The Management Committee admitted that the decision was the result of incompetence and a lack of solid information about the matter. Concerning the regional conference, the Management Committee expressed its hope that the conference would take place in Bucharest in the Spring of 1933. (68)

The Yugoslav reaction, presented in Glasnik SPP, was predictable; the information presented during the meeting had in their opinion been misleading. For example, in January, 1933, Professor Sergej Troicki of the Orthodox Theological Faculty in Belgrade published an analysis of the BOC Constitution project, criticizing their claim of jurisdiction over dioceses in Macedonia and Southern Serbia and for the Diocese of Nis--all now under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the SOC. (69) Only a month later, the public statements changed considerably. It is not certain whether the change was brought about solely by church representatives or was initiated by the state. It is fair to suggest that it was an initiative of King Alexander, who wanted Bulgaria to join the Balkan Pact, thus also setting the stage for further rapprochement between the two countries, using the church representatives for negotiations. For example, in an article, "We and the Bulgarians," published in Glasnik SPPthe national unity of Bulgarians and Yugoslavs and the ecclesiastical union between the two churches were hailed. (70)

In early May 1933, a delegation of the SOC--Bishops Nikolaj and Irinej, Voja Janjic, and priest Milovoj M. Petrovic--finally visited Bulgaria, with the aim of negotiating issues of peace and friendship between the two churches. In view of earlier events, the visit was most certainly approved of, or even initiated by, the Yugoslav state authorities. During the talks in Rila monastery, presided over by Metropolitan Stefan, it was confirmed that a W.A. regional conference should be organized in Belgrade. A resolution of mutual interests was passed to foster friendly relations between the two churches and countries. (71) The initiative was acknowledged officially by the Council of the SOC, but at this point it was advised to proceed with private consultations. (72) The same month, in cooperation with the Life and Work movement, the Balkan regional conference finally took place in Bucharest. (73) The correspondence continued between church representatives with the aim of signing a resolution of mutual interests, but unfortunately a meeting planned for that purpose in Rila was postponed. In the Fall of 1933, the rapprochement of the two states began, when in September the visits of the Bulgarian and Yugoslav royal couples took place. On the arrival of the Bulgarian royal couple in Belgrade, the Yugoslav media emphasized the contribution of the Orthodox churches in the rapprochement between the two states. (74) In September the representatives of the Yugoslav delegation attended an international meeting of the W.A. in Sofia.

After the first steps of reconciliation, the SOC was still cautious in its actions. Its General Assembly recommended in the Spring of 1934 continued monitoring of the work of the BOC, especially in light of discussions on its new constitution. If necessary, the Assembly suggested protecting the rights of the SOC with the help of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This decision was repeated in 1935. Interestingly enough, the SOC tried at the same time to ease the schismatic position of the BOC among the Orthodox Churches. In November, 1933, Metropolitan Gavrilo Dozic visited the Patriarch of Constantinople and, among other things, discussed the issue of the Bulgarian schism. He was instructed in Belgrade to emphasize its administrative character. The Patriarch assured him that, through negotiations and with goodwill, all questions would be taken into consideration. (75)

In February, 1934, the Balkan Pact was signed, but Bulgaria did not join. It should be emphasized that, even in that stage, the churches still used the W.A. national committees for further negotiations. It proves that there was some uncertainty about the success, and the W.A. was used as a third and experienced party. Nevertheless, taking into account the fact that the persons who negotiated were either church leaders or senior clergy shows that the negotiations had to be approved at the highest possible level by the SOC as well as the Yugoslav state, since the state directed the policy of the church in foreign relations.

The conference attended by the representatives of the Bulgarian and Yugoslav national committees, initially planned to take place at the Rila monastery in 1933, was finally held in September, 1936, in the Yugoslav city of Ohrid, at the Monastery of St. Naum. Although it was the BNC who came, it was organized as if it were an official visit of the BOC. Before the negotiations, the prominent Bulgarian delegation--Metropolitan Stefan, Bishop Pajsije of Vratsa, Dr. Stefan Zankov, Archpriest Dimitar Andreev (secretary of the Clergy Union), George Tsvetinov (Head of the Department of Religion at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria), and deacon Nikitin--met with Patriarch Varnava, Prime Minister Milan Stojadinovic, Prince Regent Paul, and other Yugoslav officials.

Before the meetings at the Monastery of St. Naum, Stefan and Irinej celebrated the Holy Eucharist together. The meetings concluded with an eight-point resolution, in which both sides stressed the need to continue work on deepening the relationship between the two churches and nations. The national committees praised the late King Alexander I and Tsar Boris III for their contribution in reestablishing a friendly relationship between the two countries and prayed that the same kind of enthusiasm would continue to characterize their relations in the future. The media coverage was generally positive; only Glasnik SPP still emphasized the informal character of the visit. (76)

The Rila and Ohrid meetings were among the most important prerequisites for ecclesiastical, as well as political, rapprochement between Bulgaria and Yugoslavia. (77) Bulgarian Prime Minister Georgi Kjoseivanov wrote in an article published in 1936 that rapprochement had begun three years before and that there were still some unresolved issues between the two countries. At the same time, the two countries started negotiations to finalize a nonaggression pact.

Bilateral relations between the BOC and the SOC were normalized in the following years. In 1937 discussions were held on the recognition of ordination in the Anglican Church. In April, 1939, students from the Faculty of Theology of Sofia visited Belgrade. In a speech in Novi Sad in 1939, Zankov described the Serbs and Bulgarians as sharing a spiritual kinship and blood. Cooperation continued in the first year of World War II, when a committee for printing common liturgical books held a meeting in Sofia in March, 1940. The SOC delegation was met by Tsar Boris III. (78)

When Bulgaria joined the Tripartite Pact in March, 1941, it considerably changed the position of Bulgaria in the region and nullified the 1937 Bulgarian-Yugoslav Pact. German troops were permitted to enter the territory of Bulgaria, and the German side indicated Bulgarian support in meeting territorial claims against neighboring countries. In the Balkan campaign of 1941, the Bulgarian forces were not involved in the attack on Yugoslavia and Greece, but German troops from its territory launched attacks on these two countries, and Bulgaria participated in the division of Yugoslavia.


During the interwar period, the relations between Yugoslavia and Bulgaria were characterized by conflicts and mutual distrust. The dissensions were the consequences of the Balkan wars and World War I. Bulgaria was among the countries that had lost World War I and had to give up a large part of Macedonia, where, according to Bulgarian estimates, over ninety percent of the population were Bulgarians. The Macedonian question made it difficult for the two countries to normalize bilateral relations. The several stages in the rapprochement process were mostly influenced by the internal politics of two countries. Most importantly, it involved the activity of the ecumenical peace organization, the World Alliance for International Friendship through the Churches.

The W.A. was the most influential ecumenical organization in the region and offered a suitable alternative to church and state officials for negotiations. Even more important is the fact that the talks among W.A. representatives were carried on even when state support was not granted. In 1933 the Yugoslav delegation of the W.A. visited Bulgaria. During the talks at the Rila Monastery, a resolution of mutual interests was passed to foster friendly relations between the two churches and countries. The visit of 1933 and the negotiations conducted through the W.A. have to be considered a vital diplomatic channel in the rapprochement process.

The rapprochement process between state and church representatives continued in the following years. In 1936 the W.A. members met at the Monastery of St. Naum of Ohrid in Yugoslavia. Bulgaria and Yugoslavia signed a pact of eternal friendship in 1937. The Serbian Orthodox Church supported the removal of the state of schism from the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, and the two churches were engaged in several cooperation projects until 1941. Due to the outbreak of World War II, the rapprochement process lasted too briefly to produce real results, but it represented a significant shift in relations between the two countries and the two churches.

(1) See Miroslav Hroch, "National Movements in the Habsburg and Ottoman Empires," in John Breuilly, ed., Vie Oxford Handbook of the History of Nationalism (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2013), p. 192.

(2) For more on this issue, see Rene Ristelhueber, A History of the Balkan Peoples, ed. and tr. Sherman David Spector (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1971); Fred Singleton, Twentieth-Century Yugoslavia (New York: Columbia University Press, 1976); Stevan K. Pavlowitch, A History of the Balkans, 1804-1945 (New York: Addison-Wesley Longman, 1999); R.J. Crampton, Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century--and After, 2nd ed. (New York and London: Routledge, 1997); idem, Bulgaria (Oxford, U.K., and New York: Oxford University Press, 2007); Andrew Rossos, Macedonia and the Macedonians: A History (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 2007); Voin Bozhinov, "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.]," Tokovi istorije (Belgrade), nos. 1-2 (2008), pp. 38-55 ["Pact for 'Eternal Friendship,' or Has Bulgarian-Yugoslav Togetherness Been Accomplished"]; Marius Turda, "National Historiographies in the Balkans, 1830-1989," in Stefan Berger and Chris Lorenz, eds., The Contested Nation: Ethnicity, Class, Religion, and Gender in National Histories, Writing the Nation Series (Basingstoke, U.K., and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008; repr., 2011); and Frederick B. Chary, The History of Bulgaria, Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO/ Greenwood, 2011).

(3) See Ruth Rouse and Stephen Charles Neill, eds., A History of the Ecumenical Movement, vol. 1: 1517-1948 (Geneva: World Council of Churches, 2004; orig.: Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1954), p. 562.

(4) See Keith W. Clements, "The Anglo-German Churches' Exchange Visits of 1908-09: A Notable Anniversary," Ecumenical Review 59 (April-July, 2007): 257-283;}. C. O'Neill, "Adolf von Harnack and the Entry of the German State into War, July-August, 1914," Scottish Journal of Theology, vol. 55, no. 1 (2002), pp. 3-5; and Rolf Linder, "Friedrich Siegmund-Schultze--Facetten einer Personlichkeit: Zur Einfuhrung," in Heinz-Elmar Tenorth, Rolf Lindner, Frank Fechner, and Jens Wietschorke, eds., Friedrich Siegmund-Schultze (1885-1969): Ein Leben fur Kirche, Wissenschaft und soziale Arbeit (Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer Verlag, 2007), pp. 7-11.

(5) See Nils Karlstrom, Okumene in Mission und Kirche: Entwicklungslinien der heutigen okumenischen Bewegung (Munich: Claudius Verlag, 1902), pp. 113-114; Wolfram Weisse, Praktisches Christentum und Reich Gottes: Die okumenische Bewegung Life and Work, 1919-1937 (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1991), p. 123; and Priit Rohtmets and Veiko Vihuri, "The Ecumenical Relations of the Lutheran Church (From the Beginning of the 20th Century to World War II)," in Riho Altnurme and Priit Rohtmets, eds., History of Estonian Ecumenism (Tartu: University of Tartu; and Tallinn: Estonian Council of Churches, 2009), pp. 45-48.

(6) See The World Alliance for International Friendship through the Churches (WAIFC). Handbook 1933 (Geneva: WAIFC International Office, 1935), pp. 16-21.

(7) See "Minutes of International Committee, 29/9-3/10/1919," in WAIFC, Minutes, Documents, Reports, and Correspondence, Minutes of Various Committees: August 2,1914-April 16, 1923, World Council of Churches Archives (hereafter, WCCA), 212.001, pp. 23-49.

(8) See WAIFC, Handbook of the World Alliance, 1920 (London, 1920), pp. 12-13.

(9) See WAIFC, Annual Report and Handbook, 1932 (Geneva, 1932), p. 15.

(10) See Darril Hudson, The Ecumenical Movement in World Affairs (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson [for the] London School of Economics and Political Science, 1969), p. 75.

(11) See Harjam Dam, Der Weltbundfiir Freundschaft der Kirchen, 1914-1948: Eine okurnenische Friedenorganization (Frankfurt am Main: Otto Lembeck, 2001), p. 401.

(12) See Julian Jenkins, "A Forgotten Challenge to German Nationalism: The World Alliance for International Friendship through the Churches," Australian Journal of Politics and History 37 (August, 1991): 296.

(13) See Priit Rohtmets, "Ecumenical Peace Organization 'The World Alliance for Promoting International Friendship through the Churches' and Resistance to Totalitarian Regimes in the Interwar Period," Usuteaduslik Ajakiri (Tartu), vol. 64, no. 1 (2013), pp. 82-83.

(14) See Daniel Gorman, "Ecumenical Internationalism: Willoughby Dickinson, the League of Nations, and the World Alliance for Promoting International Friendship through the Churches," Journal of Contemporary History 4s (January, 2010): 60-61.

(15) See WAIFC, Annual Report and Handbook, 1931 (London, 1931), p. 13.

(16) See Dam, Der Weltbund, p. 407.

(17) See ibid., p.408.

(18) Ibid., p. 406; and see Hudson, Ecumenical Movement in World Affairs, p. 134.

(19) Stephen Plant, "The Sacrament of Ethical Reality: Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Ethics for Christian Citizens," Studies in Christian Ethics 18 (December, 2005): 77.

(20) See "Izvrsni odbor interkonfesionalnog pokreta (stokholmskog) 'Za zivot i rad' u Novom Sadu," Glasnik Srpske Pravoslavne Patrijarsije (Glasnik SPP), nos. 38-39 (1933), pp. 627-628; and Marko Nikolic and Petar Petkovic, "Institucionalne forme savremenog ekumenskog dijaloga," Medunarodni problem (Belgrade), vol. 63, no. 2 (2011), pp. 276-296.

(21) See "Minutes of the Management Committee, 30 April-i May 192,0," The World Alliance for Promoting International Friendship through the Churches, Minutes, Documents, Reports, and Correspondence, Minutes of Various Committees: August 2, 1914-April 16, 1923, WCCA, 212.001: 73-74.

(22) For more about the relations between the state and the Orthodox Church, and especially the state and the SOC, see Ernst Benz, Geist und Lehen der Ostkirche (Paderborn: W. FinkVerlag, 1971; orig.--Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1957), pp. 184-185; and Vjekoslav Perica, Balkan Idols: Religion and Nationalism in Yugoslav States (Oxford, U.K., and New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 18.

(23) See "Konferencija u Atini," Vesnik, no. 4 (1930), p. 2.

(24) See WAIFC, Minutes, Documents, Reports, and Correspondence--Conferences, 1924-1931, WCCA, 212.007: Report of Jules Jezequel's and Henry A. Atkinson's visits to Yugoslavia and Bulgaria.

(25) See WAIFC, Handbook of the World Alliance, 1923 (International Office, London, 1923), p. 7; Handbook of the World Alliance, 1924 (International Office, London, 1924), p. 12; Handbook of the World Alliance, 1928 (International Office, London, 1928), p. 13.

(26) Irinej Ciric (1884-1955) was the SOC bishop of Timok and later of Backa. He represented the SOC in the World Movement toward the Unification of Churches (Faith and Order), the World Congress of Practical Christianity, and the Board of the Movement for Peace through Religion. See "Konferencija istocnih i zapadnih bogoslova u Novom Sadu od 3-10. avgusta 1929," Duhovna strata, no. 4 (1929), pp. 318-321.

(27) See WAIFC, Minutes, Documents, Reports, and Correspondence. 1. W. H. Dickinson's Papers, 1938-1942; Message from the President of the World Alliance, the Rt. Rev. Bishop Irinej of Novi Sad, WCCA, 212.006: November, 1939.

(28) See "Konferencija u Atini," p. 2.

(29) See "Liga crkava," Vesnik, no. 13 (1921).

(30) See WAIFC, Handbook of the World Alliance, 1923, p. 8.

(31) See P. [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] 2010 [Ruselena Pendzhekova, "The Person and Work of the Bulgarian Exarch Stefan in Historical Memory," Sofia, 2010]; available at

(32) See WAIFC, Handbook of the World Alliance, 1927 (International Office, London, 1927), p. 14.

(33) See Handbook of the WAIFC, Covering the Period from Chamby 1935 to Larvik 1938 (International Office, Geneva, 1938), p. 9.

(34) See WAIFC, Handbook of the World Alliance, 1923 (International Office, London, 1925), P. 9

(35) See WAIFC, Handbook of the World Alliance, 1924, pp. 59-60,78-79, and 102-107.

(36) See Branko Bjelajac, "Hriscanska zajednica studenata kao model saradnje i tolerancije medu crkvama s pocetka XX. veka," Religija i tolerancija, vol. 9, no. 16 (July-December, 2011).

(37) See WAIFC, Minutes, Documents, Reports, and Correspondence-, The British Council; Willoughby Dickinson's papers. Yugo-Slavia. Report by Sir Willoughby Dickinson on His Visit, Aug. 6-21, WCCA, 212.015: 1921. See also Peter Troch, "Yugoslavism between the World Wars: Indecisive Nation Building," Nationalities Papers 38 (March, 2010): 227-244.

(38) See WAIFC, Handbook of the World Alliance, 1925, p. 50.

(39) WAIFC, Propaganda and Information, Reports, Notes, Folders, Flyers; Report on Visits to the National Councils in the Year 1927 by Rt. Hon. Sir Willoughby Dickinson, K. B. E. (October, 1927).

(40) See "Konferencija Svetskog Saveza," Vesnik, vol. 36, no. 16 (October, 1927).

(41) For more about the movement toward the liberation of the Balkan nations; the formation of the new states of Serbia, Greece, Romania, and Bulgaria and of new local churches; and the problem of the Bulgarian Exarchate and relations with the Patriarchate of Constantinople, see Mark Mazover, Balkan: kratka istorija (Belgrade: Aleksandria Press, 2003), p.114; James L. Hopkins, The Bulgarian Orthodox Church: A Socio-Historical Analysis of the Evolving Relationship between Church, Nation, and State in Bulgaria (Boulder, CO: East European Monographs, 2009), pp. 129-141; and Momchil Metodiev, "The Ecumenical Activities of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church: Reasons, Motivations, Consequences," Religion in Eastern Europe 32 (August, 2012): 4.

(42) See "Izvestaj o radu Sv. Arh. Sabora Kraljevine Srbije," Glasnik SPP, no. 2 (1920), pp. 23-24.

(43) See [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.]" [Tsvetomira Antonova, "The Attitude of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church to the Bolshevik Revolution in the Early 20's of the 20th Century," October 24, 2012], available at; M. Jovanovie, "Ruska pravoslavna zagranicna crkva u Jugoslaviji tokom dvadesetih i tridesetih godina 20. veka," in Bogoljub Sijakovic, ed., Srpska teologija u dvadesetom veku, istrazivacki problemi i rezultati, vol. 3 (Belgrade: Pravoslavni Bogoslavski Fakultet, 2008), pp. 160-178, especially p. 164; and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] [Ivan Snegarov, "Relations between the Bulgarian Church and Other Orthodox Churches after the Proclamation of Schism"], Church Archives, vols. 3-5 (1929).

(44) See "Bugarin u Karlovcima," Politika, November 24,1921, p. 1.

(45) See Archive of Yugoslavia (AY), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Political Department (PD), 334-26-1053, May 1923. For more about Archimandrite Stefan's activities during the war in Switzerland, see Pendzhekova, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.], para. I, 1.1.

(46) See "Pitanje bugarske sizme," Glasnik SPP, no. 9 (1923), pp. 134-136; and "Bugarska crkva u 1923. godini," Hriscanski zivot, no. 4 (1924), pp. 180-182.

(47) See "Bugarska crkva," Glasnik SPP, no. 21 (1924), p. 348.

(48) See Pendzhekova, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.], para. 1,1.2.

(49) Nikolaj Velimirovic (1881-1956), Bishop of Ohrid (Macedonia) and Zica, was a theologian and philosopher. He participated in the post-war peace conferences, the ecumenical church meetings, conferences of the Christian Community of Young People around the world, and the Pan-Orthodox consultation. See Episkop ohridski Nikolaj, "Vaseljenski sabor i Bugarska crkva," Vesnik, no. 7 (1925), p. 1; and Milos Andelkovic, "Sta treba resiti pre Vaseljenskog Sabora?" Vesnik, no. 8 (1925).

(50) See Milos Parenta, "Srpsko-bugarsko bratstvo," Glasnik SPP, no. 6 (1927), pp. 86-88.

(51) See Archives of St. Synod SOC (ASSOC), Council Register of 1920-1934,105,158/263, 52/272; AY, Consulate General of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in Constantinople, 411-8-324 and 411-21-42-45.

(52) See "Svetski savez za jacanje medunarodnog prijateljstva pomocu crkava," Duhovna straza, no. 1 (1928), pp. 64-71.

(53) "Konferencija Svetskog Saveza."

(54) See WAIFC, Handbook of the World Alliance, 1918, p. 117.

(55) [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] [Church Herald--print organ of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church]. See "Bugarska," Glasnik SPP, no. 15 (1929), p. 237.

(56) See WAIFC, Minutes, Documents, Reports, and Correspondence; Conferences, 1924-1931; Avignon, September 19-21, 1929, WCCA, 212.007.

(57) See AY, Kingdom of Yugoslavia Embassy in Romania, Bucharest, Kingdom of Yugoslavia MFA, 13 November 1931, No. 20258, 395-23-577-583.

(58) See "Report to the Management Committee on the Postponement of the Regional Conference at Belgrade by Willoughby Dickinson, September, 1931," in WAIFC, Minutes, Documents, Reports, and Correspondence; Minutes of Various Committees: August 22, 1930-November 3, 1933, WCCA, 212.003.

(59) See AY, Kingdom of Yugoslavia Legation in Romania, Bucharest, MFA Kingdom of Yugoslavia, 13 November 1931, No. 20258, 395-23-577-583.

(60) See "Note of the decisions arrived at [at] an informal meeting of certain members of the Executive at Hamburg, June 1st, 1931," WCCA, 212.003.

(61) See "Dvadesetogodisnjica Varnskog Mitropolita Simeona," Vesnik, no. 15 (1930), pp. 2-3; and "Delegacija Bug. crkve na pogrebu," Vesnik, no. 4 (1930), p. 4

(62) See ASSOC, Council Register 1920-1934, 105, 158/263, 52/272.

(63) See Bogoljub N. Milosevic, "Bugarsko-Srpsko Bratstvo," Vesnik, no. 14 (1930), p. 1; and idem, "Srpsko-Bugarsko bratstvo," Vesnik, no. 18 (1930), p. 1.

(64) The SOC did not have a Department for Foreign Affairs, so the clergy worked closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. See Radmila Radic, Drzava i verske zajednice 1945-1970, 2 vols. (Belgrade: Institut za noviju istoriju Srbije, 2002), vol. 1, p. 23.

(65) See AY, Embassy of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, Romania, Bucharest, MFA KY, 13 November 1931, no. 20258, 395-23-577-583.

(66) See "Medunarodne konferencije crkava u Londonu," Duhovna strata, no. 3 (1931), pp. 234-236.

(67) See WAIFC, Annual Report and Handbook, 1932, p. 38.

(68) See Minutes of the Management Committee, August 19-22, 1932, pp. 4-5, WCCA, 212.003.

(69) See Sergej Troicki, "Projekat Ustava Bugarske crkve," Glasnik SPP, no. 5 (1933), pp. 74-75

(70) Milivoj M. Petrovic, "Mi i Bugari," Glasnik SPP, no. 10 (1933), pp. 157-159.

(71) See Nikolaj Velimirovic, "O zblizenju naseg i bugarskog naroda" ["About Rapprochement of Our Peoples and the Bulgarians"]; available at -bg/istorija/vlnikolaj-zblizenje.php.

(72) See ASSOC, Council Register 0/1920-1934, AS, Nos. 69 and 110/152, 26 May/8 June 1933

(73) See "Minutes of the Secretaries' Meeting," Berlin, January 29 and February 2, 1933, WCCA, 212.003: 3.

(74) See "Mogucnost nove orijentacije u Sofiji," Politika, September 20,1933, p. 1; "Bugarska i Jugoslavia," Glasnik SPP, nos. 46-47 (1933), p. 800; and Stephane Groueff, Crown of Thorns: The Reign of King Boris III of Bulgaria, 1918-1943 (Lanham, MD: Madison Books, 1998), PP-189-191.

(75) See AY, Embassy of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in Turkey, Ankara, 370-20-498; and Consulate General of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in Istanbul, 7 November 1933, 411-8-1921 and 8-174 (21341). After the visit, Dozic went to Sofia, but unfortunately there is no information on the results of the visit.

(76) See "Bugarski velikodostojnici u Jugoslaviji," Glasnik SPP, nos. 24-25 (1936), pp. 551-558.

(77) See Pendzhekova, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.], para. 11.2.

(78) See Ljubomir Ivancevic, "Svetosavlje i Bugari," Pastirski glas, no. 8 (1939), p. 1; "Preosvecena g. g. episkopi Irinej i Nektarije u Bugarskoj," Glasnik SPP, no. 6 (1940), pp. 221-223; and Bozhinov, "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.]" pp. 38-55 (see note 2, above).

Priit Rohtmets (Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church) has a Ph.D. in theology (2012) from the University of Tartu, Estonia, where he is a researcher in church history as a member of a research project on "Secularization (De-institutionalization and DeChristianization): Religion in Estonia from the Modern Period to the Present." He is vice-chairperson of the Estonian Society of Church History. His research focuses on Estonian, Baltic, and Scandinavian church history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; the emergence of national theology (with Jouko Talonen, "The Birth and Development of National Evangelical Lutheran Theology in the Baltics from 1918 to 1940," Journal of Baltic Studies, 2014); state-church relations (with Ringo Ringvee, "Religious Revival and the Political Activity of Religious Communities in Estonia during the Process of Liberation and the Collapse of the Soviet Union, 1985-1991," Religion, State, and Society, 2013); the history of Orthodox Churches in the Baltic states (with Valdis Teraudkalns, "Taking Legitimacy to Exile: Baltic Orthodox Churches and the Interpretation of the Concept of Legal Continuity during and after the Soviet Occupation of the Baltic States," Journal of Church and State, 2015); the relationship between nationalism and religion in Northern Europe; the ecumenical movement in the Baltic States; and the history of the peace organization, the World Alliance for Promoting Friendship through the Churches.

Radmila Radic (Serbian Orthodox) has a Ph.D. (1992) in historical science from the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Philosophy. She is Senior Adviser at the Institute for the Recent History of Serbia, in Belgrade. Her main fields of research are social history, history of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and relations between the state and religious communities in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her most recent hooks are Zivot u vremenima: patrijarh Gavrilo (Dozic) 1881-1950,2nd exp. ed. (Life in the Times: Gavrilo Dozic, 1881-1950) (Beograd: PBF, 2011); and, with M. Isic, Srpska erkva u Velikom ratu 1914-1918 (Serbian Church in the Great War, 1914-1918) (Beograd-Gacko: Filip Visnjic-SPKD Prosvjeta, 2014). Her essays have appeared as chapters most recently in I. A. Murzaku, ed., Monasticism in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Republics (Routledge, 2015); S. P. Ramet, ed., Religion and Politics in Post-Socialist Central and Southeastern Europe: Challenges since 1989 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014); and J. Bahlcke, S. Rohdewald, and T. Wiinsch, eds., Religiose Erinnerungsorte in Ostmitteleuropa, (Constitution und Konkurrenz im nationen-und epocheniibergreifenden Zugriff (Akademie Verlag Berlin, 2013). She previously published an article in J.E.S. in 1999.

Acknowledgement: The research on which this article is based was supported by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research, targeted financing project SF0180026S11, and the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (Centre of Excellence in Cultural Theory [CECT]).
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