It will continue a series of visits to the fraternal Local Orthodox Churches that His Holiness Patriarch Kirill began, following an Orthodox tradition, after his election to the Patriarchal throne. His Holiness visited the Orthodox Church of Constantinople in 2009, the Church of Alexandria in 2010, the Church of Antioch in 2011, the Churches of Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Poland in 2012, and the Church of Greece in 2013.
The programme of the visit will include a meeting with His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia and members of the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church, as well as meetings with state leaders of the Republic of Serbia.
On November 15, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill will take part in the blessing of the Russian Necropolis in Belgrade and a monument to Emperor Nicholas II and will visit the University of Belgrade and the Representation of the Russian Orthodox Church in the capital of Serbia.
On November 16, Their Holinesses Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Patriarch Irinej of Serbia will celebrate the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of St Sabbas in Belgrade. Concelebrating with them will be archpastors and clerics of the Russian and Serbian Orthodox Churches.
The Serbian Orthodox Church is one of the oldest Slavonic Local Orthodox Churches. It received autocephaly in the 13th century (restored in 1879). The jurisdiction of the Serbian Orthodox Church spreads over many countries in Southeastern Europe: Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Macedonia. Besides, the Serbian Church has dioceses in the Western and Northern Europe, North and South America, Australia and New Zealand.
The founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Archbishop Sabbas of Serbia (1169-1236) took monastic vows at the Russian monastery on Mount Athos.
His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, Primate of the Serbian Orthodox Church, was born in 1930. He was elected to the Serbian Patriarchal Throne in 2010. In the summer of 2013, he paid a peace visit to the Russian Orthodox Church and took part in the celebrations on the occasion the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia in Moscow, Kiev, and Minsk.
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia visited Serbia and Montenegro in October 2013, to participate with other Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches in the celebrations marking the 1700thanniversary of the adoption of the Edict of Milan and to consecrate the Church of the Resurrection of Christ in Podgorica.