Archbishop Jovan (John) VI

Stop the terror, persecution
and discrimination on religious grounds
conducted by the Government of FYROMacedonia!

The persecution on religious basis in FYROMacedonia – continues!

Filed under: General — April 23, 2013 @ 1:09 pm

The US State Department published its regular Human Rights Report on FYROMacedonia.

The biggest accent is put on the government’s failure fully to respect the rule of law, primarily reflected in the interference in the judiciary and the media, in the selective prosecution of political opponents of the country’s leaders and significant levels of government corruption. The report stresses the existence of police impunity and the political interference in the judiciary, its favoritism, inefficiency and corruption that slowed the delivery of justice.

As one of the most acute problems, the report does not omit to mention the mistreatment of detainees and prisoners by the police and the prison guards, the poor conditions and overcrowding in the state prisons, as well as the delayed access to legal counsel by detainees and defendants. The report clearly indicates that the country’s prisons and detention centers do not meet international standards, they are in dilapidated condition, and the prisoners are held – as it is stated – in deplorable, dangerous and unhygienic environment, while most of the prisoners are locked in their cells for up to 23 hours a day.

Another postponing of the court process. Archbishop Jovan will spend four months in detention without being brought to a trial that has already been started.

Filed under: General — March 18, 2013 @ 12:58 pm

The authorities in R. Macedonia, eleventh year in a row, upon the demands of the schismatic Macedonian Orthodox Church (MOC), are performing state persecution on religious basis against Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid and the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric! The mentioned persecution is most illustratively demonstrated with the long, rigged court processes against Archbishop Jovan and the refusal for registration in the courts of the pan-orthodoxly recognized Church in our homeland – the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric.

Characteristic of the current state of the latest court persecution against the Archbishop, Bishops, monastics and faithful people of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric were the persistent, indicative delays of the court hearings, which seems to have as background the insisting of the synod of the schismatic MOC, with the purpose to cause as much harm as possible to Archbishop Jovan!

The last court hearing was held on December 11 last year. After the hearings on January 16, and then on February 20 were postponed, now also the hearing on March 14 is postponed!

Why are the court hearings being postponed? Why is Archbishop Jovan spending four months in a dark and stifling room with a visibly deteriorated health, without being brought to trial? Why is he continued to be held in detention when the hearings are not taking place? Where does the interest originate from, to simply not perform the started court process in such a long time period?

To the ones that insist on the detention, the answer to these questions seems undoubtedly clear: the longer Archbishop Jovan is found in the present, cruel condition, the more likely is his destruction!

Regarding the torture on religious basis which is being performed upon Archbishop Jovan

Filed under: General — February 20, 2013 @ 8:32 am

On 14.02.2013 the analysis of prof. Mirjana Najcevska, regarding the media in the developed democratic countries and their role as controllers of the authorities in the aspect of the respect and protection of the human rights, was published. The analysis was prepared as part of the USAID project for strengthening of the media in Macedonia – Component Service for validation of the media facts, implemented by Metamorphosis. The analysis is provided through the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of the analysis are responsibility of the author and they do not reflect the stances of Metamorphosis, USAID or the U.S. Government.

In the analysis, prof. Mirjana Najcevska is treating the important role in the implementation of the verdicts of the European Court for Human Rights, which the media has in the developed democratic countries, and at the same time is elaborating the state in which the media in R. Macedonia are found, in regard to the mentioned subject.

Among the other points of the analysis, prof. Mirjana Najcevska concludes that in the media there is not even an attempt for connecting the current processes which are being led in the courts, with the existing verdicts of the European Court for Human Rights. As it is pointed out in the analysis, despite the fact that there are verdicts of the European Court for Human Rights which address the detention as means for violation of the European Convention on Human Rights by the judicial organs of R. Macedonia, the journalists are not even in one of the current cases of prolonged detention, and such is the case of Archbishop Jovan according to the analysis, attempting to interconnect these data and are not raising the question of the appropriateness of the applied measure. (more…)

Bishop David of Stobi: 1700 years of the Edict of Milan! Free Archbishop Jovan!

Filed under: General — February 7, 2013 @ 6:05 pm

On this occasion, in the present brief overview of the current situation, regarding the disrespect of the religious freedoms in our country, we will condensedly speak exclusively about the sociological aspect of the mentioned problem. As a motive we have the following: the history notes that this year marks the 1700 years since the declaration of the Edict of Milan. Essentially, the Edict is a decision, a decree of religious tolerance and abolition of every persecution on religious basis.

However, 17 centuries later, our reality witnesses that a state persecution on religious basis is still present in our midst! This persecution has been detected many times and with evidence by the international community, by the institutions that are protecting the religious freedoms in the world, and it is left as an indication of the sociological maturity of the consciousness and the conscience of the ones performing this persecution! And, of course, as a shame of our community in whole! But, obviously, ignoring the persecution is not making it cease! It is, clearly, being manifested on a daily basis throughout the decade-long torture of Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid by the state apparatus, and through the unlawful refusal to inscribe the Orthodox Archbishopric of Ohrid in the court register of churches! In the past years, as a reaction to the mentioned issue, all topical Orthodox Churches, as well as a large number of other Christian denominations, are addressing the official representatives of our country, requesting a sooner abolition of the religious persecution. The persecution, which seems to be “invisible” for certain people here, remains forever visibly incarved in the church history worldwide! For the persons that have a sound system of values, the mere persecution of only one man, persecution of the preciousness of one personality, is sufficient to change the course of the history for the good of all mankind. (more…)

The Serbian Patriarch Irinej in his Christmas epistle speaks of the persecution of Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid and the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric

Filed under: General — January 20, 2013 @ 8:15 pm

In this year’s Christmas epistle of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Serbian Patriarch Irinej speaks of the religious persecution against Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid and the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric, indicating that in the year of the jubilee: 1700 years of the Edict of Milan, through which the free confession of the Christian faith was allowed, in R. Macedonia still exists the state persecution against the Christians of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric, only due to their religious background which is the canonical, catholic Orthodoxy. In the epistle it is stated:

“Christmas is the day in which we are liberated from the chains of sin, death and satan, and we are celebrating this Christmas in the eve of the commemoration of the 1700 years of the Edict of Milan, with which the holy Emperor Constantine gave the Christians freedom and right to freely glorify Christ.

Unfortunately, in this year of jubilation of the freedom of confession of the Christian faith, that same freedom is being denied to our brothers and sisters, members of the Archbishopric of Ohrid, whose Prelate, Archbishop Jovan is being held imprisoned by those who several decades long are not allowing us to put together the robe of Christ which was torn apart by the atheist hand.

In this day, when the earth is joyful together with the Heavens, we address words of love, comfort and encouragement to the children of the Archbishopric of Ohrid, headed by their Prelate and the Holy Synod.”

Source: via

Renowned academic circles at a symposium in Italy requested that the Macedonian authorities immediately release Archbishop Jovan

Filed under: General — December 13, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

Recently, in the “St John of Calabria” Monastery, in Bivongi, Calabria, Italy, the international symposium “COLLOQUI DIONISIANI” was held for the third time, a symposium that is already very well known among the academic and theological circles, and is of a great significance for the orthodoxy.

It represents a high level of spiritual-theological-academic meetings in which internationally renowned speakers take part. This year’s conference was dedicated to the Ecumenical Councils and the topics will contribute to the organization of the next Pan-Orthodox meeting.

Participants were, from Italy: Antonino Mantineo, Vescovo Siluan Span, Paolo Ricca, Pino Silvestri, M. Hamam, Francesco Zanchini, Lorenzo Sinisi, Enrico Morini, Constantin Totolici, Arcivescovo Antonio Cantisani, Octavian Schintee, Giovanni Battista Varnier, Salvatore Berlingò, Salvatore Rapisarda, Giorgio Barone-Adesi, Andrea Saguna, Alberto Sarra; from Russia: Vladimir Vasilik, Vladislav Zupin; from Greece: Ioannis Panagiotopoulos, Basileios Koukouzas, Nikos Maggioros; from Montenegro: Velibor Dzomic; from Belarus: S. Kalinin; from Bulgaria: Ivan Ivanov, Dilyan Nikolchev; from the United Kingdom: David Harte; from Romania: Ioan Kozma, Alba Julia.

Despite the great scientific interest, during this year’s symposium two significant events took place:

first, the opening of the Center for observation of the respecting of the religious freedoms in Europe and especially the Mediterranean, and

second, the Appeal by the symposium participants, which will be sent publically to the authorities in Skopje for an immediate release from prison of the persecuted Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid.


Press Release by the president of The Archbishop Jovan Fund

Filed under: General — November 21, 2012 @ 11:18 am



Before the Second Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Press Release

The Archbishop Jovan Fund USA

Beloved in Christ our Lord,

May our Gracious God always bless you!

As president of the Archbishop Jovan Fund USA, I am informing you that as of
yesterday 1 November 2012, another trial was held against His Eminence, Archbishop
Jovan, including a new trial against Bishop Markos of Breggalnica, Bishop David,
against the priest-monks Mojsej & the Priest Irinej, Abbess Kirana, prioress
Olimpijada, the Christ-loving nuns Magadlina & Nun Pelagija, as well as against ten
believers of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric has begun.

It’s an absolute scandal in the free world and among us all who have simply remained
silent of the imprisonment of Archbishop Jovan, and now for his brother bishops,
priest, monks, nuns, and laypersons. Some voices have been loud enough and have gone
in one ear and out the other.


The court process against Archbishop Jovan, the Bishops, monastics and believers of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric has begun

Filed under: General — November 14, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

On November 1, 2012, at 10 AM, in the Court of First Instance Skopje I, in Skopje, the new staged court process against Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid, against the Bishops Marko of Bregalnica and David of Stobi, against the priest-monks Mojsej and Irinej, abbess Kirana, prioress Olimpijada, nuns Magdalina and Pelagija and against another ten believers of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric has begun.

The state persecution against Archbishop Jovan is reaching big proportions. Until now he has been imprisoned for “inciting national, racial and religious hatred”, for “evasion”, for “autarchy”, and among all these accusations, the latest one is being to the list, for alleged “money laundering”! The political tendency of all these convictions in the past ten years can be summarized in the recent statement of Metropolitan Amfilohij of Montenegro, during his visit in Skopje, that “if they could, the authorities of FYR Macedonia would pronounce a death sentence for Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid!”

The judicial Golgotha of Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid began in 2002, since when as soon as one court process against him is finished, in continuity, a new one is started, hence in the last ten years he has been imprisoned six times, and he has been serving prison sentences for five years. Archbishop Jovan indicated that the act of coming to the pan-orthodox unity with the Serbian Orthodox Church and with all topical Orthodox Churches is neither an act of treason, nor it is unpatriotic. On the contrary, that was the only way for the Macedonian Orthodox Church to be in unity with the other Orthodox Churches, which is being proven also today, and that he did that, as he said: “in order for my people and Church to not remain excluded from the Orthodox Churches”.

The prosecution accuses Archbishop Jovan that the funds which he has allegedly taken from the Macedonian Orthodox Church 14 years ago, were later distributed by him to his followers, who then used them to buy property for the Association for improvement of the civic and religious freedom “Anastasia”, having in mind that the state persecution is being manifested also in the fact that the court is persistently denying registration to the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric, rejecting in that way, the implementation of the new, European legislative.

Archbishop Jovan underlined that since he and his followers were evicted from the objects in which they had lived, with God’s help, they had barely managed to raise funds to buy a place for worship, and now the authorities are demonstrating envy for the “only sheep”, as mentioned in the Old Testament story of the prophet Nathan, told to King David, and therefore the authorities are giving all efforts to “legally” take from the Archbishopric the small property which it has.

In the verdict against Archbishop Jovan for “evasion” of the Court of First Instance in Veles, the essential statement is missing: has he gained the mentioned funds for himself, or has he only operated with them as if they were his own. Archbishop Jovan stated that it takes only a superficial overview of the expertise to confirm that it is not possible that he has gained for himself the funds of whole four year budgets, in the period between 1998 and 2002. Thus, Archbishop Jovan asked: “who could gain for himself the amount of four year budgets, and be discovered no sooner than four years afterwards? What was done in the dioceses with which I operated in those four years? Were they locked and closed? It is impossible to gain even one year budget, and not four!”

The authorities of FYR Macedonia for whole ten years are rejecting the requests for registration of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric, and that is being done with one sole purpose – to have always, when needed, the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric to point towards, as an illegal entity before the laws. Due to the fact the authorities are refusing to register the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric, the members of the Archbishopric are forced to find ways to survive, of course, within the legal framework in FYR Macedonia.

The Archbishop highlighted that all of the accused undoubtedly state that they are members of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric. And, undoubtedly, before the investigation court had stated that they wanted to help the Church they belong to, by their personal funds, as all believers worldwide are doing. Is FYR Macedonia the only place where such help by the believers for their own Church, with their personal funds is considered a criminal act?

Archbishop Jovan stated that his life path is bound to FYR Macedonia, and only a vicious mind could suggest that if he was eventually released from detention, he would flee from the country. Had he wished to leave his own homeland, it is well known to the public, that he could have chosen not to return to FYR Macedonia, at least until the prison sentence was outdated. But, as he said, he came back because he knew that God was with him, and that God was not abandoning him even in the prison. As he said, he knows that maybe to some people his acts seem as confronting to the authorities, he is not confronting the truth, and thus his conscience is clear. In political trials everything is decided “from above”, which renders useless all arguments.

Archbishop Jovan highlighted that he was obliged before the history to demonstrate that he had fought, and if it seems as if he were losing, that was not something that depends on him. Has not Christ – according to men’s criteria – lost, with His “weakness” on the Cross, and the suffering? But with that “weakness” he accomplished in this world that which is impossible to be imposed by force.

The staged court process against the members of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric continues.


The Episcopal Assembly of Oceania requested from the Government of FYR Macedonia release of Archbishop Jovan

Filed under: General — November 10, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

On October 14 and 15, 2012, in Sydney, Australia, the third Episcopal Assembly of the canonical Orthodox Bishops of Oceania was held, under the chairmanship ex officio of His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos of Australia.

Present were the representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for Australia, Bishop Irinej of Australia and New Zealand (Serbian Orthodox Church), Bishop Mihail (Romanian Orthodox Church), Bishop Amphilochios (Ecumenical Patriarchate – New Zealand) and Fr. Michael Protopopov (representing Metropolitan Hilarion of the Russian Orthodox Church).

Among the other matters, the Episcopal Assembly of Oceania unanimously decried the unlawful imprisonment of Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skopje and the continued persecution of the members of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric. The Episcopal Assembly at the same time calls upon the Government of FYR Macedonia to immediately release Archbishop Jovan from prison and to cease and desist persecuting the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric.

Source: Serbian Orthodox Church of Australia & Zew Zealand

The World Council of Churches calls for immediate release of Archbishop Jovan

Filed under: General — September 25, 2012 @ 10:18 am

WCC Central Committee meeting, 28 August - 5 September 2012
Minute on the unlawful detention of Archbishop Jovan of Ochrid and Metropolitan of Skopje of the Serbian Orthodox Church

I was in prison and you came to visit me’. . .‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
(Matt. 25:36,40)

1. His Beatitude, Archbishop Dr Jovan of Ochrid and Metropolitan of Skopje of the Serbian Orthodox Church was arrested whilst crossing the border from Greece into the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on 12 December 2011. Unfounded charges were brought against Archbishop Jovan, following which he was tried and sentenced in absentia, without the basic right to defence, to two and a half years imprisonment by the Court of Appeals in Veles. Initially detained unlawfully at Veles, he was transferred to more solitary confinement in Idrizovo Prison on 16 January 2012. This is his sixth consecutive detention, despite two acquittals by the Municipal Court in Veles.

2. Amnesty International in 2005, predicated on the staged court cases and state persecution on religious grounds against Archbishop Jovan by the courts of FYROM, initiated ten years ago on the grounds of different religious beliefs, declared Archbishop Jovan a “prisoner of conscience”.

3. The persecution against the Archbishop now continues and has been extended to include the intimidation of members of the Archbishop’s family, the interrogation of hierarchs, clergy, monastics and faithful of the Archdiocese of Ochrid with added threats of confiscation, whilst denying Archbishop Jovan the essential right to visitations and external communications.

4. The World Council of Churches (WCC) has denounced the arrest and unlawful detention of His Beatitude Archbishop Jovan of Ochrid and Metropolitan of Skopje at the request of His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The general secretary of WCC has written letters to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, and to the President of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), expressing concern that Archbishop Jovan’s persecution over the past years constitutes a flagrant violation of the right to freedom of religion or belief, as guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Central Committee of the World Council of Churches, meeting in Kolympari, Crete, Greece, from 28 August to 5 September 2012, therefore:

A. Decries the unlawful imprisonment of Archbishop Jovan and the continued persecution of the members of the Archdiocese of Ochrid, and the members of the Archbishop’s family;

B. Calls upon the government of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to immediately release Archbishop Jovan and to cease and desist persecuting the Archdiocese of Ochrid;

C. Urges the authorities in FYROM to recognize the essential right to freedom of religion or belief, as guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

D. Requests the member churches of the WCC to join in prayer and solidarity with Archbishop Jovan by writing letters of protest to the relevant authorities;

E. Encourages the CCIA to organize a solidarity visit and continue to advocate for the release of Archbishop Jovan.


Source: World Council of Churches

Archbishop Jovan – in detention for nine months

Filed under: General — September 14, 2012 @ 6:21 pm

Today, September 12, 2012, nine months are completed since Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid is in detention.

Archbishop Jovan is put in cruel prison conditions: he is locked in a cell for twenty-three hours per day, and has the opportunity to walk for one hour only. Four months nobody has visited him, because to the only ones who were allowed to visit him, his mother and his sister, the court has prohibited the visits!

Archbishop Jovan has diabetes and serious problems with his spine!

Despite the difficult conditions in which Archbishop Jovan is being imprisoned, the prison authorities are even prohibiting him to read books; namely, several books and magazines which he received written in Greek language, the prison authorities have sent to the court, in order for the court to decide whether Archbishop Jovan should be allowed to read those books or not, but the court has not answered for more than one month!

Due to such torture of Archbishop Jovan, and with the latest, politically rigged process against the Bishops Marko and David, against the monastics and the faithful, an impression is made that the government had reached a political decision to annihilate the pan-orthodoxly recognized, canonical Church in our homeland – the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric. The authorities want to give the persecution a legitimate shape through the staged court processes, but all international reports indicate that it is exactly the judiciary which is under a direct influence of the government and has a major problem with the corruption!

Those that staged a trial and executed Christ also thought that with His crucifixion they would destroy the Church! But was that so!

On this occasion, we are appealing to the whole democratic public to intervene for the ceasing of the persecution on religious basis against people who are not guilty for what they are persecuted for, persecution upon which it is impossible to build the future of FYR Macedonia as an advanced democracy!


Second Appeal for Release of Archbishop Jovan

Filed under: General — August 20, 2012 @ 4:25 pm


The Archbishop Jovan Fund USA
Very Reverend Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes, President
2618 West Bannock Street
Boise, Idaho 83702

Memo: Second Appeal Letter on behalf of Archbishop Jovan

15 August 2012

Prime Minister Nikola Grueksi
Bul Illinen bb
1000 Skopje
Republic of Macedonia FYROM

Mr. Prime Minister:

Humbly I greet you with the peace and love of our Lord God I pray all is well with you!

Let us dispense with yet another polite and diplomatic appeal to your person and office on behalf of Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid, Metropolitan of Skopje.

No more will we list the specific crimes committed against the body and apostolic office of this gentle soul by the hopelessly corrupt MOC (Macedonian Orthodox Church) that continues to collaborate with sycophantic elements within your judicial system to repeatedly arrest, imprison and mistreat Archbishop Jovan over the past several years. The Macedonian (FYROM) judiciary is regarded as a Stalinist relic throughout democratic Europe and as an embarrassing caricature of the vital and independent judicial system that every modern state sees as its pride and joy in 2012.

It is now virtually certain Archbishop Jovan - now seriously ill and his health rapidly declining – will die in your prison system SOON unless you, Mr. Prime Minister, immediately dismiss the spurious charges and fabricated evidence against him and set free the only recognized and legitimate Orthodox Prelate that Macedonia knows. Do you want his death and disgusting mistreatment to be a part of the personal legacy that you bequeath to the scrutiny and judgement of not only the community of nations in Europe but also to the scrutiny and judgement of future generations within your own country? (more…)

The U.S. State Department in regard to the religious freedoms in FYR Macedonia: there were reports of discrimination based on religious affiliation

Filed under: General — August 12, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

The U.S. State Department published its annual Religious Freedom report for FYR Macedonia.

In the Report it is stated that the government did not demonstrate a trend toward either improvement or deterioration in respect for and protection of the right to religious freedom. The remark that there was no “trend toward improvement” undoubtedly indicates the fact that there are matters that clearly should be improved!