MOYANA Representative Meets U.S. State Department
MOYANA Representative Meets U.S. State Department
JuLieNJ For Immediate Release: July 22, 2005

Contact: Chris Purdef, (614) 296-0881


Macedonian Orthodox Youth Association of North America representative Metodija A. Koloski on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 met with the Senior Editor of Western and Central Europe Religious Freedom Reports under the U.S. State Department Office of International Religious Freedom, Mr. Michael J. Mates. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the recent issuance of TOMOS by the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church to the schismatic “Orthodox Church” in the Republic of Macedonia with its leader Zoran Vranishkovski, alias Bishop Jovan.

Mr. Koloski pointed out to Mr. Mates that according to the 17th Rule of the 4th Orthodox Ecumenical Council and the 38th Rule of the 6th Ecumenical Council, the Macedonian Orthodox Church has the canonical and historic right to an autocephalous status. A prerequisite for having an independent church according to these Rules is having your own sovereign nation. The Macedonian Orthodox Church meets these criteria.

The Macedonian Orthodox Church renewed in 1967, being abolished in 1767 by the orders of the Ottoman Sultan, received full blessings by the Serbian Patriarch German stating, “for the new inducted eparches and archimandrites in the Republic of Macedonia, within the Macedonian Orthodox Church the constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church is no longer valid.” However, the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church retracted their blessings and refused to form a dialogue with the Macedonian Orthodox Church between 1967 and 1991.

Mr. Koloski briefed Mr. Mates that upon the declaration of independence of the Republic of Macedonia in 1991, the Greek and Serbian Orthodox Church intensified their efforts to take over the Macedonian Orthodox Church. In 2002, upon being charged by the Holy Synod of the MOC, of irregularities in his financial management and of embezzlement, Zoran Vranishkovski, then a Bishop in the MOC choose to leave the ranks of the MOC to join the ranks of the SOC. Months prior to this, the Greek and Serbian Orthodox Church made an agreement that should the Macedonian Orthodox Church take out the word “Macedonian” from its name, they would recognize the Macedonian Orthodox Church as an equal church in the International Orthodox Community.

Zoran Vranishkovski since 2002 has been trying to build a parallel Orthodox Church in Macedonia naming it the Ohrid Archbishopric and self-declaring himself as the Archbishop of Ohrid, which is the name and the title of the head of the Macedonian Orthodox Church. The Macedonian people, and interestingly the Serbian minority in Macedonia have refused to recognize this church. With this in mind, the Macedonian government has full responsibility to deal with the political machinations of foreign churches that choose to meddle in the internal affairs of Macedonia.

Mr. Koloski is thankful to have had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Mates to discuss the misunderstandings regarding the Macedonian Orthodox Church. Mr. Koloski asked what role the U.S. is playing and Mr. Mates informed him that he had met with Zoran Vranishkovski and states that the position of the State Department is that they support the right to religious freedom – the core objective of U.S. Foreign Policy - all over the world. Mr. Mates expressed his willingness to further discussions on the above mention matters.

To read the 2004 Religious Freedom Report on Macedonia, please visit:

MOYANA serves to activate and unite the Macedonian Orthodox parish youth for the preservation and promotion of the Orthodox Christian Faith through collective worship, fellowship, service and witness. MOYANA also helps to foster the productive values and morals of Orthodoxy within our youth in order to build stronger ties with the North American communities.

MOYANA is an auxiliary of the American-Canadian Macedonian Orthodox Diocese, under the direct jurisdiction of the Holy Synod of the Macedonian Orthodox Church. MOYANA is the largest Macedonian youth organization in the world. For further information, please visit our Website: (editirano od administrator)