Simo Ralević is a Serbian pastor and writer now living with his wife and daughter in a village north of the River Danube in a region called the Vojvodina. Simo’s connections with the Banner of Truth began in 1964. Whilst working in a factory in the north of Serbia, he met the late R.C. Thomson, who was travelling in Yugoslavia accompanied by Julian Mouton, who gave him his first Banner book, Ecclesiastes, by Charles Bridges. This was the beginning of a very fruitful relationship which has had a profound effect on both his spoken and written ministry ever since.
In 1968, people who had enjoyed his preaching began to ask if they might have written copies of his sermons. These enquiries led to the commencement of his publishing ministry and its development up to the present day. Undoubtedly his numerous books, which are the fruit of his well-prepared and dynamic preaching, have spread his influence not only throughout all the republics of former Yugoslavia, but among Yugoslav communities in western Europe, America and Australia. He has published three or four paperback books annually in both Serbian and Croatian scripts. In 1969 he also began to print books and tracts in the Albanian language, which were spread throughout Kosovo and even into Albania itself. He was also instrumental in publishing and distributing the first post-war edition of the Albanian New Testament. Many hundreds of souls have been saved through reading his literature, and a large part of his time is devoted to corresponding with those who have read his books and write to him asking for more.
Simo was pastor of a small congregation of the Evangelical Baptist Church of Yugoslavia in Pec, which was particularly badly affected by NATO bombing during the war in Kosovo. In 1999, Simo and his family were expelled along with other church members. He was able to salvage two-thirds of his personal library and some items of furniture, but his literature warehouse and office building just outside the town was totally destroyed, as were the houses of his son, brothers and nephews in the village on the hill overlooking Pec. Simo does not know if he will ever be able to return.
The Trust has published The Tongue – Our Measure, the first translation of one of Simo Ralević’s books into English.