Eparchy of Zahumlje and Herzegovina
|Territory||Parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Montenegro|
|Headquarters||Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Sui iuris church||Serbian Orthodox Church|
|Established||1219 (as Eparchy of Hum)|
|Eparchy of Zahumlje and Herzegovina|
The Eparchy of Zahumlje, Herzegovina and the Littoral (Serbian: Епархија Захумско-херцеговачка и Приморска) is an eparchy (diocese) of the Serbian Orthodox Church with its seat in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has jurisdiction over the region of Herzegovina, the littoral region of southern Dalmatia in Croatia and a small part of Montenegro. Since 2018, the bishop of Zahumlje and Herzegovina has been Dimitrije Rađenović.
The region was under the Eastern Orthodox Metropolitanate of Dyrrachium, which in turn was under the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.[when?] In 1089, the see of Trebinje (Travunia) was briefly theoretically under the jurisdiction of the Archbishopric of Bar.
The Eparchy of Hum or Zahumlje was founded in 1219, by the first Serbian Archbishop Sava, the same year the Serbian Orthodox Church acquired its autocephaly status from the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Thus, it was one of the original Serbian Orthodox bishoprics. It had jurisdiction over the historical regions of Zahumlje and Travunija. The first Bishop of Hum was Ilarion, succeeded by Sava II (son of Stefan the First-Crowned). The original seat was in Ston, in the church of the Most Holy Theotokos (Пресвете Богородице). Following an earthquake, the bishop moved the seat to the Monastery of Holy Apostles in the valley of river Lim in the 1250s. From that time, the Eparchy of Hum was sometimes also called "Eparchy of Lim".
With the War of Hum (1326–1329), most of Zahumlje was taken over by Stephen II, Ban of Bosnia, but the Travunija region remained under the rule of Serbian Kings. After the creation of the Serbian Patriarchate of Peć in 1346, all original Serbian bishops were raised to the honorary rank of metropolitan bishops. Pope Clement VI in 1335 addresses to King Stefan Dušan and request him to stop the persecution and that to the bishop of Kotor which is responsible for Roman Catholic Diocese of Trebinje return monasteries, churches, islands and villages, which some kings of Raška before him overtook. The see of the eparchy was then moved to the Mileševa monastery. In the middle of 15th century, Metropolitan David was a very influential figure in the court of Stefan Kosača, who was titled Duke (Herzeg) of Saint Sava. Following the fall of the Duchy of St. Sava to the Ottoman Empire (1482), the see was frequently moved, finally to settle in the Tvrdoš Monastery near Trebinje in 1508. Eventually, the eparchy was further divided into the Eparchy of Mileševa.
In 1557, Serbian Patriarchate of Peć was restored and the Eparchy of Herzegovina was returned to its jurisdiction, with its bishops of holding the honorary title of metropolitan. In 1766, when the Serbian Patriarchate of Peć was abolished, Eparchy of Herzegovina and all other Serbian eparchies under Ottoman rule came under the jurisdiction of Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Bishops of Herzegovina kept their honorary title of Metropolitan, as was also the custom in the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The seat of metropolitan was transferred to Mostar. Since 1878, territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina was under the occupation of Austria-Hungary, but under the Church Convention of 1880 all Eastern Orthodox eparchies remained under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. At the end of the First World War in 1918, Eastern Orthodox bishops in Bosnia and Herzegovina reached a unanimous decision to enter the united Serbian Orthodox Church. The process of unification was completed in 1920 and since then the Eparchy of Zahumlje and Herzegovina has remained part of Serbian Orthodox Church. The seat of the eparchy was the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Mostar. As of 2017, it is being rebuilt after being demolished during the Bosnian War (1992-1995).
There are eight monasteries in the diocese: