Bulgaria is relatively close to the center of the Eastern Orthodox Church in Constantinople (Istanbul), and the Orthodox Church came to dominate its Christian community. Its position was shaken during four centuries of ottoman Turkish rule, but reinforced with independence in 1878 under a king related to the Russian czar. Communist rulers (1945-91) tended to persecute Catholics and Protestants more than the orthodox.
   The Muslims allowed Orthodoxy to stand during the centuries of Turkish rule, but approximately 11 percent of the public today are Muslim believers. Periodically, Roman Catholicism attempted to gain a foothold, the majority of present-day Catholics deriving from a Franciscan mission set up in the 18th century.
   Protestants began their mission in 1850 with the arrival of Congregationalists from the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. Methodists soon followed, but their work was small compared to that begun by Baptists (1865), the Seventh-day Adventist Church (1891), and Pentecostals from Russia (1921). By World War II, the Pentecostals had become the largest segment of the Protestant community.
   Like the Catholics, the Protestants suffered greatly during the years of Communist rule, though the situation improved some in the 1960s and 1970s. Since the coming of a post-Marxist government in 1991, a spectrum of conservative Protestant churches have initiated evangelistic activity. Pentecostals remain by far the largest of the new groups, with the Pentecostal union of Bulgaria and the Church of God claiming the allegiance of almost 50 percent of the Protestant community between them.
   Protestants number several hundred thousand, as compared with the 6-million-member Bulgarian Orthodox Church. In the face of charges that they constituted a cult (in Europe a "sect"), in 1993 a number of the Protestant and Free Church groups banded together as the united Evangelical Churches. The government accorded them some recognition and allowed members to take official days off on several church-designated holidays. Some of the more conservative churches and organizations formed the Bulgarian Evangelical Alliance, which is aligned internationally with the World Evangelical Alliance.
   Further reading:
   ■ David Barrett, The Encyclopedia of World Christianity, 2nd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001)
   ■ P. B. Mojzes, A History of the Congregational and Methodist Churches in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia (Boston: Boston University Ph.D. dissertation, 1965)
   ■ P. Stoynov, Churches and Religions in the Peoples Republic of Bulgaria (Sofia: Synodal Publishing House, 1975).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

Игры ⚽ Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • BULGARIA — BULGARIA, East Balkan republic located along the Black Sea. Ancient Period A Jewish settlement is known to have existed in Macedonia in the time of Caligula (37–41 C.E.; Philo, Embassy to Gaius, par. 281). A late second century Latin inscription… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Bulgaria — • A European kingdom in the northeastern part of the Balkan Peninsula Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Bulgaria     Bulgaria     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Bulgarĭa — (B. Fr.), Morchelpilzgattung, aus der Familie der Hymenomycetes Helvellacei Cupulati …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Bulgaria — M.L., from Bulgari Bulgarians, perhaps lit. the men from the Bolg, the River Volga, upon whose banks they lived until 6c. But the people s name for themselves in O.Bulg. was Blugarinu, according to OED, which suggests a different origin. In other …   Etymology dictionary

  • Bulgaria — [bəl ger′ē ə, boolger′ē ə] country in SE Europe, on the Black Sea: founded in the 7th cent. & under Turkish rule from the late 14th cent. until 1878; gained full independence in 1908: 42,855 sq mi (110,994 sq km); pop. 8,473,000; cap. Sofia …   English World dictionary

  • Bulgaria — Infobox Country native name = bg. Република България bg. Republika Balgaria This article uses the official Bulgarian transliteration system when romanizing Bulgarian Cyrillic. For details, see Romanization of Bulgarian.] local name = bg. Balgaria …   Wikipedia

  • Bulgaria — Република България Republika Bǎlgariya República de Bulgaria …   Wikipedia Español

  • Bulgaria — /bul gair ee euh, bool /, n. a republic in SE Europe. 8,652,745; 42,800 sq. mi. (110,850 sq. km). Cap.: Sofia. * * * Bulgaria Introduction Bulgaria Background: The Bulgars, a Central Asian Turkic tribe, merged with the local Slavic inhabitants in …   Universalium

  • Bulgaria — <p></p> <p></p> Introduction ::Bulgaria <p></p> Background: <p></p> The Bulgars, a Central Asian Turkic tribe, merged with the local Slavic inhabitants in the late 7th century to form the first… …   The World Factbook

  • Bulgaria — La República de Bulgaria es un país europeo ubicado en el sudeste del continente. Colinda al norte con Rumania, al sur con Grecia y Turquía y al oeste con Serbia y Montenegro y con la A.R.Y. de Macedonia. Su capital es Sofía. * * * (República… …   Enciclopedia Universal

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”