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“I have nothing to apologise for,” Bulgarian Bishop Says

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church: Angels and demons?

by Clive Lewis-Sawyer

If there is a hell with a department specially set aside for Bulgaria’s communist-era State Security and leaders of the atheist state, they may be chuckling right now, between being prodded with pitchforks and otherwise tormented.

In its early history in power, the communist regime used brutal tactics against all its enemies, the church included. Clergy were executed or murdered, jailed with or without trial, sent to “labour education” camps. While the tactics changed over time, to seeking to subvert and manipulate the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, one tactic was consistent throughout in communist propaganda – ridicule.

And it is ridicule that has been among the reactions to the revelation that most of the current governors of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church were agents of State Security. To the extent that this ultimately may damage the church and religious belief itself, this is a kind of last laugh for those who would dedicate their attention to the church to turn it to the purposes of the gospels of Marx and Lenin, rather than its founders in the Middle East those 2000 years ago.

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