Serbian Army To Introduce Orthodox Christian Chaplains into its Ranks

24 11 2010

A day after media in Serbia reported that the majority of Serbian citizens put the most trust in the Serbian military and Serbian Orthodox Church of all government institutions, the Serbian Army Chief of Staff – Lieutenant General Miloje Miletic announced that the Serbian Army will soon introduce chaplains into its ranks with military training beginning in mid-2011.

“It is a tradition of the Serbian army, and the need of modern armies.” Serbian defence minister Sutanovac said. He also added that all legal requirements for the presence of military chaplains have been completed.

The Serbian government adopted laws in December 2007 paving the way for the the Serbian armed forces to implement organized religious services following the examples of contemporary world armies and from Serbian tradition.

  • The idea of introducing religious service in the military is not new and dates from 2000 when an analysis of foreign armies and the Serbian tradition was conducted by the Serbian Armed Forces.

Historically, until 1918 the army of the Kingdom of Serbia employed chaplains within command and division headquarters.

After the First World War with the establishment of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, the Ministry of the military and navy assigned Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Muslim chaplains within its ranks.

In the 21st century the Serbian military will have a Supreme chaplain (officer) for the Orthodox faith who will be administered under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Serbian Patriarch and soldiers will be allowed to worship in chapels and churches located on military facilities. Where no facilities exist on military bases and where soldiers will use local churches and monasteries.

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