Information Service of
the Serbian Orthodox Church

June 10, 2004


Since June 4, 2004, the Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Church began its WAP presentation of daily news at the same time as its Internet presentation. In this manner the Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Church wishes to keep everyone using WAP services through their mobile telephone and living anywhere in the world informed regarding events in the Orthodox Church. To our best knowledge, this is the first WAP presentation in Cyrillic script and it has completely disproved claims that it is impossible to use Cyrillic in modern technology.



Just out of print is the first volume of the Bible Encyclopedia by Protodeacon Radomir Rakic, an instructor at the Theological Faculty of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade and the official interpreter of the Holy Assembly of Bishops. This volume includes terms from A to L on a total of 586 pages in encyclopedic format in two columns without illustrations.

This work, the first of its kind in the Serbian language, has been no less than 10 years in preparation by the author, using the best biblical encyclopedias in the world as his model, including the Russian encyclopedia of Archimandrite Nikifor from the end of the 19th century reprinted in Moscow in 1992. German works used included Fritz Rienecker’s Lexikon zur Bibel and the six-volume biblical dictionary published by Brockhaus, Das grosse Bibellexikon. English works of greatest aid to the author were Harper’s Bible Dictionary (San Francisco, 1985), as well as The Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Vols. 1-3 (London, 1980).

The structure of the definitions is as follows: the term, then the first parenthesis with the term in Hebrew letters, a second parenthesis with the transliteration – guide to pronunciation in the Roman alphabet, and finally, the translation of the term in Serbian in italics. This translation is very important because all Semitic names have a meaning. If the definition relates to a person or concept from the New Testament, the first parenthesis provides the name or concept in Greek and the definition is provided in the next parenthesis. If there are several persons with the same name, they are separately listed with careful citing of the place of appearance in the Holy Scripture; in some cases, there are several references, e.g., Zachariah has 24. Geographical names include information regarding who conducted archeological excavations at specific locations and when, the results of these investigations, etc. In cases where the location no longer exists, archeological hypotheses regarding its possible location are given. Also defined are persons and locations cited in the Deuterocanonical Books (Apocrypha), e.g., the Books of the Maccabees or Esdras, Tobit, etc. The translation of Bishop Atanasije Jevtic of the Books of the Maccabees was used. Certain important biblical persons, e.g., Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elijah, John the Baptist, Matthew, etc.) are defined in such detail that a complete portrait of them is presented. Also defined are non-biblical persons, events and locations (e.g., Ras Shamra, Elba, Nag Hammadi, etc.), dynasties of the pharaohs, Selevkida, Ptolemians, etc. The Old Testament is cited according to the Danicic translation, and the New Testament according to the translation of the Commission of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church. It is periodically emphasized whether individual concepts were translated by Emilijan Carnic or Vuk Karadzic. Most difficult of all, biblical names are conscientiously listed as used in the Serbian language and not corresponding to the Masoret reading (e.g., Ozilo instead of Uzilo).

The publisher of the Bible Encyclopedia is the St. Basil of Ostrog Spiritual Academy in Srbinje. The editor of this important work in the field of modern Serbian theology is Dr. Mirko Tomasovic, assistant professor on the New Testament at the St. Basil of Ostrog Spiritual Academy in Srbinje. Dr. Ilija Tomic, assistant professor at the Theological Faculty of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade, provided expert assistance, especially in Hebrew terminology and its transliteration.


Three of the best episodes of the popular documentary series of Belgrade's NTV Studio B, Spiritual Leaders hosted by Velimir Velja Pavlovic, have been released on DVD. The distributor, DVDreams from Belgrade, chose three notable episodes including interviews with Elder Tadej Vitovnicki, Mother Ilarija from Pokajnica Monastery and Father Justin, former Abbot of Decani Monastery and presently Abbot of Savina Monastery.

Through the warm and simple, yet deep and wise words of the monks, a new world is revealed which Jovan Ducic described thus: “Today no one realizes how miserable and humiliating it is to be afraid to be left by oneself. No one knows what a tragedy it is never to be alone and hear our blood rushing through our veins and temples, never to hear the sound of the footsteps of our thoughts in the silence of solitude in which all is revealed and everything begins to speak...”

The host, Mr. Velja Pavlovic, says that in our time, when the material has become more important than the spiritual, only in the monasteries can one still meet exceptional people dedicated to the highest purpose through perfection of self.

In spring of 2002 Belgrade’s Studio B launched a series to discover their world called “Spiritual Leaders”. The unexpectedly large audience it drew is proof that spiritual leaders remain a precious source of inspiration for many even today.

The DVD includes episodes of “Spiritual Leaders” which viewers most frequently wanted to see again.

In the meanwhile, Mother Ilarija and Elder Tadej have passed from this transient into eternal life and hence these interviews also remain as irreproducible testimonials. The supplement includes previously unbroadcast, unedited material from the filming of the episode about Father Tadej.

The DVD has Russian, Greek, German, English, French and Spanish subtitling.

This exceptional collection that may be ordered by mail for a price of 1,000 dinars plus shipping costs. Additional information may be obtained at +381-011-32-82-588 or info@spc.yu


In the ruins of Dubrava Monastery on the southern slopes of Mt. Zlatibor a pile of 260 Venetian ducats from the 17th century have been found. This centuries-old treasure is a rare find which will go toward the restoration of this forgotten monastery and its sisterhood. Dubrava Monastery is located in the Diocese of Zica and with the humble assistance of the faithful will return to life and again become a place where the many faithful can pray to God.

In the two years since the restoration of this holy shrine began, nine kilometers of road have been dug from the village of Stublo along the crags under Mt. Tornik. At the same time, an anonymous Serb from the United States donated 15,000 dollars toward the restoration and fresco painting of the monastery church. Monk Danilo arrived here four years ago from an ascetic brotherhood in Studenica and is trying to restore the life of the monastery.

The money was probably hidden in Dubrava in 1697 during a Turkish reprisal and will be of exception significance historically and archeologically.

By D. Gagricic

Source: Vecernje Novosti daily, Belgrade, June 10, 2004


At the International Festival of Documentary Film held in the Czech city of Kosice Jelena Bojovic’s film “The 21st Century” won the first prize. The film was secretly filmed during the past five years in Kosovo and Metohija. The director talks about elderly ladies who try to save an Orthodox holy shrine – the church of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God in Djakovica – which was nevertheless destroyed during the March pogrom.

Source: Vecernje Novosti daily, Belgrade, June 10, 2004

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