Bulgarian Orthodox Religion
The Bulgarian Orthodox religion is an autocephalous Easter Orthodox religion that has approximately 10 million adherents worldwide.
The church was recognized by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 927 AD and achieved independence in 919 AD.
The primate today is the Patriarch Maxim and the church is headquartered in Bulgaria.
The church considers itself an inseparable member of the one, holy and apostolic church and is organized as a self-governing body under the name of the Patriarchate.
The church is divided into thirteen dioceses within Bulgaria, one for Western and Central Europe and one for the Americas, Canada and Australia.
Although church life in the parishes is governed by the local priest but the supreme clerical, judicial and administrative for the church as a whole is exercised by the Holy Synod which includes the Patriarch and diocesan prelates.
This Religion originated in the early christian communities. Christianity was brought to the balkans by Apostle Paul and Apostle Andrew in the 1st century AD.
The church came under great stress during the period of the Ottoman rule as did the population and most churches were razed to the ground. During the 15th century there were many martyrs for the faith as the faithful were subject to forced conversion to Islam.
The church came under the domination of communists from 1944 to 1989. The communists were not interested in destroying the church but rather reducing it's influence among the people. After the demise of communism starting in 1989 the religion once again regained it's dominant position in society.
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