video clip: Church Ruins    |    duration: 7'27"
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Church Ruins
locations: Medvedja and Lebane
There are numerous church ruins of different peoples and civilisations on the territory of the present-day Serbia. Throughout our country, we find remains of temples from Antiquity – Roman and Byzantine times, as well as from Medieval Serbia.

Today’s inhabitants of the nearby settlements respect former sanctuaries, which they call church ruins, and believe that the place or ground where rituals were once performed remains sanctified forever. Religious actions and healing rituals are still performed in those places nowadays.
Certain “church ruins” have been adapted into churches dedicated to Orthodox saints. Such temples have been sanctified and Orthodox priests give sermons and masses on the holidays of these “sanctuaries”.

There are particular people in Serbia (mostly in the Eastern and Southern parts of the country) that take care about the remains of temples; they adapt, repair and refurbish them, and even perform the rituals. People call them “church people” (“crkvenjaci”) and they represent a kind of endowers and volunteer-priests.

Some of these “church people”, when faced with hardships (illnesses or accidents) get a “call” from a divine emissary or saint, usually in a dream, to find and rebuild temple or church remains. Such churches are popularly called by the persons who rebuilt or reconstructed them, even though they are theologically speaking dedicated to Orthodox saints.

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