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FYROM Bishop David: Alexander the Great spread the Hellenic language and culture

Occasionally, the truth appears on the surface in all simple frankness even in the media of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). The latest case is the recognition of historical truth about Alexander the Great by David Ninov Bishop of Stobi of the POA (“Pravoslavna Ohridska Arhiepiskopija”, English: ”Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric”). ​
In order to understand the importance of his statement, it should be mentioned that it was given for the leftist PlusInfo (+Info) portal, part of which is printed in the only printed newspaper that reflects the left – opposing Gruevski – and in particular the point of view of SDSM*. By far most of the readers are not religious, not overtly so, or they strongly defend the so-called “Macedonian Orthodox Church”, created by the Communist Party of Yugoslavia from 1958-1967 via its unilateral declaration of separation from the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC).

Due to the aforementioned unilateral declaration, the “Macedonian Orthodox Church” remains unrecognized by all other Orthodox churches and its clergy deemed schismatics. The POA, on the other hand, is canonically recognized in the Orthodox Christian world through its communion with the Serbian Church. Although the POA is the canonical church of the land since its founding in 1019, it is officially outlawed by the FYROM State Religion Commission. Its persecuted clergy and adherents conduct their services in secret locations.

So what was it about that simple statement of historical truth by Bishop David that makes it more relevant, even revolutionary? As a regular columnist for PlusInfo, in an article discussing the need to create positive regional relations with all countries surrounding the FYROM, he wrote:

“From their neighbors it seems that our citizens know least about modern-day Hellenes. Sure, everyone heard about ancient Hellenes, about famous philosophers, about Homer, about Alexander the Great who spread Hellenic culture and Hellenic language through the ecumene as it was then, but today, except for resorts and shopping tours very few (of us) know the magnificent contemporary Hellenic culture”.

– “PlusInfo” (, 22 of March 2017.


​The article, therefore, does not express the stance of the majority of readers of PlusInfo, but the inclusion of Bishop David in the team of the media was a necessity due to both the POA and the SDSM opposing the regime of far-right Nikola Gruevski, which still – through desperate measures – tries to stay in power. Both journalists of PlusInfo and contributors are from the rank of oppressed and persecuted individuals and entities in the central Balkan state.

​The aforementioned discrepancy between the sociological profile of readers of this media and Ninov’s bold statement on the Hellenism of Alexander the Great and his civilizing actions (which, according to Russian Orthodox Cleric, Prof. Andrey Posternak**, paved the way for Christianity) makes it certain that it was not an “ordered” statement, but a personal conclusion by Bishop David that reflects international academic consensus as opposed to the anti-Greek, national-mysticist theories of “Macedonia” promoted by far-right VMRO-DPMNE academics since their creation of the national myth back in 1991 but especially since 2006 when the antiquization program of the FYROM became a fashionable social preoccupation.

The POA, with this highly polarizing and interesting statement, in the context of the regrettable fact that, from both religious, humanistic and sociological perspectives the knowledge about contemporary dynamic Hellenic culture is something virtually unknown to most citizens of the FYROM, promoted truth on a much higher order. Over the years, the POA has done this many times in the media with regard to Greek and Bulgarian history, which garnered the epithet of “predavnička (“treacherous“)” by the political far-right, blended with the rhetoric of high-ranking clerics of the schismatic “Macedonian Orthodox Church” that promotes the bizarre notion of “unbroken linguistic, cultural and biological origin from the Macedonians of Alexander’s era”.
*SDSM (Social-democratic Union of FYROM)

The articles was sent to KTG by the Macedonian League, a Hellenic advocacy group.
Alexander III of Macedon (20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great was a king of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon. He was born in Pella, a ancient city in central Macedonia in 356 BC and succeeded his father Philip II to the throne at the age of twenty. He spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through Asia and northeast Africa, and he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world by the age of thirty, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. He was undefeated in battle and is widely considered one of history’s most successful military commanders.
After the dissolving of Yugoslavia,  FYROM started to claim that Alexander the Great was a Slav and not Greek.

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