From January 1913 began the ruin and devastation of all Bulgarian monasteries in Macedonia – the expulsion of the Bulgarian clergy and its replacement by a Serbian one. Then came the turn of schools and churches: all teachers and priests who refused to register as Serbs were expelled and driven out of Bulgaria; Serbian priests were installed in the churches, Serbian teachers in the schools, and Bulgarian textbooks were destroyed.

In March 1913 all Bulgarian auxiliary bishops were expelled, and in June of that year – and the metropolitans: the Neophyte of Skopje, Meletius of Veles, Arseny of Bitola and Kozma of Debar. In the diocese of Skopje, even the feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius was banned, and in the Kichevo region, Bulgarian Muslims were also registered as Serbs because they spoke Bulgarian. The exarchate dioceses of Ohrid, Bitola, Veles, Debar and Skopje passed under the authority of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

In the autumn of 1944, the Bulgarian army, civil and church administration withdrew from the newly annexed territories in Vardar and Aegean Macedonia. This was a down point for the Bulgarian exarchate’s participation in the resolution of the Bulgarian national issue, “understood in the period under consideration here as the unification of the Bulgarian ethnic territories and communities into one nation-state.”