The persecution of Nazarenes in Yugoslavia 1918–1941


  • Branko Bjelajac


Nazarenes, Yugoslavia, Serbia, religious persecution, conscientious objectors to arms, pacifism, prison sentences


The government of the newly founded Kingdom of Yugoslavia severely persecuted the Nazarenes mostly for their refusal to swear an oath to take up arms. Thousands of them were prosecuted and sentenced to long prison sentences, while the government refused to make a special case for them. The only reason for the government’s treatment was an unfounded fear that their “defeatism” was a national security threat. Some talks and attempts to help from abroad did not yield desirable results. The government also actively supported a split among the Nazarenes, showing favor to the side interested in cooperation.