The Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the “people’s democracy” (1944-1953)

  1. Lemma
  2. Българската православна църква и “народната демокрация” (1944-1953)
  3. Bulgarian
  4. Culture and national identities
  5. 31-7-2017
  6. Калканджиева, Даниела [Author]. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the “people’s democracy” (1944-1953)
  7. Българската православна църква и “народната демокрация” (1944-1953) - Силистра: Фондация Демос, 2002.
  8. Bulgarian Orthodox Church - Bulgarian educational system
    1. The book dealt with the state policy towadrs the Bulgarian Orthodox Church (BOC) between 1944 and 1953, a period of consolidation of the communist regime a dramatic change in the policy towards the biggest religious organization in the country. The introduction made an extensive overview of the relations between state and church during the long period since the official adoption of Christianity in the 9th century, highlighting interrelation and complementary of state and church goals (and national movement goals during the time of Ottoman domination). The material was divided into six chapters, following a chronological and problematic principles, presenting main stages in the state-church relations in author’s opinion. The first one covers a two-year period charecterised by efforts for cooperation with the ruling Fatherland Front, mainly thanks to the non-communist members of the ruling coalition. The secularization process of separation between church and state is examined in the second chapter, including the removal of religious instruction from school programmes. This part presented first serious conflicts revolving around matters like legislation that accepted only civil marriages as official, and exempting the church from charity activities. The third chapter looked in detail into policies for undermining BOC’s economic basis. Various means to impact the composition of the clergy, including harsh repressions and appointment of convenient for the regime figures, were dealt with in the fourth part (repressions against Protestants and Catholics were also examined). It looked as well at policies for suppressing and marginalizing of the theological education. The fifth chapter analyzed the removal of BOC’s bishop, exarch Stephen, and the establishment of nearly total control upon the organization. The sixth chapter took a closer look at the legislation that was adopted after 1949 in order to severely restrict the Church’s rights, including total deprivation of educational activities, censure on publishing, and isolation from international contacts. It also analysed what motivated the communist state to support the upgrade of BOC’s status to patriarchy.