Religion in Bulgaria


The greater part of Bulgarian population is Eastern Orthodox. Since 865 AD when Knyaz Boris-Mikhail converted the Bulgarians to Christianity Bulgarian is considered an Orthodox country. Later there appeared different movements, among which the Bogomil, the Adamite and the Pavlikyan (another type of dualism) beliefs, which were considered heresy. Today all of them are history. Later the Hermeticism, Asceticism and Hesychasm were born but they lasted for even shorter periods of time before Bulgaria fell under Ottoman domination.

After World War II and during the socialist government of the country atheism was the official doctrine, so it is considered that today one fifth of Bulgarian population are atheists. The smaller groups include Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, as well Dunovís followers, Rosenkreuzerís followers, Mormons, etc. Some of the eastern religions are also represented in the country. Legitimate are the followers of Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, the various branches of Yoga Ė Hahta, Bhakti, Tantra, Kria, Judeans, Red Indian totemsí worshipers, etc. The esoteric and occult books translated into Bulgarian are growing in number. The followers gather into groups and societies for esoteric knowledge, the books and lectures are read to large audiences, various meditation and physical techniques are demonstrated, Lamas, priests and preachers from all over the world come to Bulgaria.

Nevertheless, the majority of the Bulgarians observe the Christian traditions and more than half of them identify themselves with Orthodox Christianity. The tendency of turning back to God and the Holy Book is getting stronger, especially in the last years of democracy when the century-old beliefs and values of the Bulgarian nation were put forward. New churches, chapels and monasteries are built, old icons, altars, and church-plates are restored, dilapidated village churches are reconstructed and opened again for the believers.

The published religious literature on Christianity has also increased as well as the demand for it. The Bulgarian family celebrates the traditional Christian holidays, especially Christmas Eve and Christmas, Easter and the name days of Bulgarians, named after archangels, saints and martyrs. One can claim that it is the time of Revival of Orthodoxy in Bulgaria.






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