Đorđe Trajkovski, President, and Dragan Grujičić, Education director for the South-East European Union Conference (SEEUC), were among dignitaries who attended two Reformation 500 conferences in the Serbian capital, Belgrade.
The first conference, on October 25, took place in the Palace of Serbia and was organized under the patronage of Aleksandar Vučić, president of the Republic of Serbia. Prof. Vladimir Marinković, personal envoy of the president, extended a welcome to representatives of the protestant churches in Serbia and to many guests, including ambassadors of several countries.
All the speakers at the conference underlined the importance and impact of the Protestant Reformation throughout the world, including the Balkans.
Four days later, on the 29th, celebrations continued in the great hall of the Ilija Kolarac Endowment.
The hall was packed with those who recognized the importance of the event that, five centuries ago, sparked the mutation of medieval Europe and, subsequently, of the world. When Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the doors of the castle church in Wittenberg, Germany, little did he recognize that he would shake the foundations of Europe’s society, religion and education.
But how did that specifically impact Serbia?
“While celebrating the 500 years of Protestant Reformation in Europe and the world, it is still necessary, in order to understand the exact impact of these events on Serbia and Serbs, to make a distinction between the concepts of Reformation and Protestantism”, explained Dane Vidović, pastor of the Baptist Church of Belgrade. “Reformation, as the process of inner transformation, of the dominant Christian church (especially in the theological sense) has never really happened in Serbia.” On the other hand, Protestantism, as a result of the Reformation of the West, certainly did influence Serbia and other Balkan countries where Serbs and other South Slavic nations have lived for the last five centuries.