The long-awaited recognition of the Macedonian Orthodox Church – Archdiocese of Ohrid (MOC-OA), initially by the Ecumenical Patriarchate (EP), and later by the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC), caused numerous reactions in the public. At the same time, the process itself, from the very beginning, was accompanied by ambiguities that resulted from the insufficiently clarified decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate regarding the Church canons, as well as the confusion regarding the final name under which the Macedonian Orthodox Church will be recognized. All this was accompanied by the frequent use of terms such as Tomos, autocephaly, and the like, the meaning of which are insufficiently known and clear to the general public. The purpose of this paper is to present the reactions of the public regarding the process of recognition of the Macedonian Orthodox Church. The enormous popularity and increasing availability have enabled social media platforms to increasingly dominate the space for public debate. Hence, in order to fulfil the objectives of this paper, we collected data from a popular social media, namely Twitter, where users' opinions were obtained from their posts. In doing so, a qualitative analysis was applied, that is a thematic analysis of the selected data from the twitter platform, particularly the tweets posted in the period following the announcement of the recognition of the MOC-OA by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Based on this analysis, in addition to the initial state of joy and excitement after the announcement of the news of the recognition of the MOC-OA by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, there was evident mistrust and doubt in the final outcome of this process. Such skepticism subsided after the recognition of the MOC-OA by the SOC, but uncertainty and confusion remain over the final name under which the MOC will be recognized. In addition to such attitudes of the public, also noticeable was the highlighting of the political dimension of the process of recognition of the MOC-OA, that is, the imposition of the "inevitable" political context of this process.
Blazevski, Ivan PhD; Gjorgjevski, Gjoko; Cacanoska, Ruzhica; and Chatleska,, Vesna Zabijakin PhD
"The Recognition of the Authocephaly of the Macedonian Orthodox Church–Archdiocese of Ohrid and Reflections by the Public: A Twitter Analysis,"
Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe: Vol. 43
, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/ree/vol43/iss5/2