The Serbian Orthodox Church (Serbian: Српска православна црква / Srpska pravoslavna crkva) is one of the autocephalous Orthodox Christian churches. It is the second oldest Slavic Orthodox Church in the world (after the Bulgarian Orthodox Church).
The Serbian Orthodox Church is the dominant church in Serbia, Montenegro and Republika Srpska entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with more than 84% of the population being adherents in all three. It is organized into metropolises and eparchies located primarily in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Croatia, but also in surrounding countries, and all over the world. Since many Serbs have emigrated to foreign countries, there are now Serbian Orthodox communities worldwide.
The Serbian Orthodox Church is an autocephalous, or ecclesiastically independent, member of the Orthodox communion. The Patriarch of Serbia serves as first among equals in his church; The current patriarch is Irinej. The Church achieved autocephalous status in 1219 under the leadership of St. Sava, becoming independent Archeparchy of Žiča. Its status was elevated to that of a patriarchate in 14th century, and was known afterwards as the Patriarchate of Peć. This patriarchate was abolished by the Ottoman Turks in the 18th century. The modern Serbian Orthodox Church was re-established in 1920 after the unification of the Patriarchate of Karlovci, the Metropolitanate of Belgrade and the Metropolitanate of Montenegro.