2008: Year of the Sects in Bulgaria

December 30, 2008 by  
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This article is a résumé of a larger publication aired in the Bulgarian media at the end of 2008 exposing a series of political and media attacks against the Evangelical Churches of Bulgaria.

The year 2008 in Bulgaria can be rightfully called “Year of the Sects in Bulgaria” as various government representatives and news agencies participated in a nationwide “witch hunt” which they called “War on the Sects.” These actions were organized in a premeditated attack to discredit evangelical churches in Bulgaria, which were repeatedly called “dangerous sects” and “cults” regardless of their bicentennial history in the country. The strategically planned actions were taken in four major cities in Bulgaria in two consecutive chronological cycles throughout the year that were properly defined by independent observers as the “Sects and the City” series.

“Sects and the City” Season One

Veliko Tarnovo: February 13, 2008

Scandalous secular television show “Masters of the Air” broadcasted an episode in which the Bulgarian language New Testament distributed globally by the Gideons was called a “new” New Testament and portrayed as “another gospel.” Eastern Orthodox Archbishop of Veliko Tarnovo confirmed this claim on air declaring a “quite war” on the publishers and distributors of the New Testament in question, while the program producers unquestionably advised the public with the words “Trust only publications of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.” What the show missed to mention was the fact that the text distributed by the Gideons is in fact the earliest translation of the Bible prepared in the new Bulgarian vernacular by Eastern Orthodox priest Neofit Petrov Rilsky in 1835-40 that has basically formed Bulgaria’s modern day grammar and language. Read more

Merry Christmas from All of Us at Cup & Cross Ministries

December 25, 2008 by  
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Ministry among the Bulgarian Pomaks

December 20, 2008 by  
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The villages in Southern Bulgaria where pomaks live are very closed communities. The prominent population there is Turkish and many of the villages use only Turkish language. Being close to the Turkish border, this area of Bulgaria has been populated with over 150 mosques built in the past 10-12 years, which produces a new religious culture of the deep Bulgarian South enforcing the Muslim religion. It is often that a stranger, especially a Christian, is not well accepted in these communities. 

However, the larger cities are much Europeanized and there are no issues of this kind there. The city of Kardjali has a great Pentecostal community represented by Church of God and Assemblies of God congregations. The same is true for the city of Smolyan. These urban centers have created a context in which Christian organizations and missions have freely evangelized and established churches in the surrounding areas. Our team’s trip and ministry there in the cities of Kurdjali and Dimitrovgrad was more than satisfying. There is much that could be done besides open preaching. Humanitarian aid, literature, educational courses (especially in the English language), media and children’s ministry have proven to work well there as the population is amongst the poorest in the country.

Kardjali Church of God: New Church of God Ministry Center Legalized

December 15, 2008 by  
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The Kardjali Church of God is located in a very strategic place of the Balkan Peninsula. The growing community has people from various ethnic and religious backgrounds. We first ministered in the Kardjali Church of God in the early 1990s and since then have enjoyed warm friendship with the pastor and congregation. We prayed with and supported them during the times when they envisioned and built the new Church of God building. Therefore, it was a thrill to visit with them again and to rejoice for the things the Lord has done during the past few years. Although, the building is far from being finished the congregation has been able to secure the documents necessary for public worship on the church property. Services are already taking place in this new and improved minister center which is gaining the trust of the community being able to service as a community example of tolerance and peacemaking.

New Printed Revised Edition of the Constantinople Bible Published

December 10, 2008 by  
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Day of the Bible: December 7, 2008

180 Anniversary of the New Bulgarian Translation of Peter Sapunov

Year of the Bible in Bulgaria

Christian web mega portal Bibliata.com, with the partnership of Duh-i-istina.net and Bibles.org.uk websites, published a new printed revision of the first Bible in the new Bulgarian vernacular originally published in Constantinople in 1871. The complete text has been revised according to the modern Bulgarian alphabet in the period from 2004 to 2008. All words and their order have been preserved as in the original edition.

This first complete printed revision of the text was published on December 7, 2008 – Day of the Bible for the 180 Anniversary of the New Bulgarian Translation of Peter Sapunov. It is one of the 10 projects of Bibliata.com proposed for the Year of the Bible in Bulgaria.  The others follow:

November 2008: Days of the Bible in schools of Kardzhali

September 2008: Bibliata.TV – Bulgarian Christian video portal

July 2008: Newly revised printed edition of the Bible of 1940 in partnership with Bibles.org.uk

June 2008: Children’s Bible 2.0 (audio, video and images for the little ones)

April 2008 (Easter): JOHN: Gospel, Epistles and the Apocalypse (New Bulgarian Translation) in partnership with the Eagle Publishing House

March 2008: New Bible Software CrossBgBible in partnership with Cross.Bibliata.com

December 2007 (Christmas): JOHN: New Bulgarian Translation (pilot edition) in partnership with the Eagle Publishing House

August 2007: Palm/PDA Bible 7.23 complete with three Bulgarian translations of the Bible Constantinople (1871), Revised Edition (1940) and WBTC (2000) in partnership with Bulgarian-American software company GMP Soft

March 2007: Revised digital edition of the Constantinople Bible of 1871 in partnership with Christian web portal Duh-i-Istina.net

Bulgarian Constantinople (Tsarigradska) Bible of 1871 can be ordered at: http://stores.lulu.com/Bibliata

Services at Dupnitsa: Building in the Times of Crises

December 5, 2008 by  
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The snowstorm in Sofia slowed us down a bit, but it certainly could not stop us from holding yet another exciting ministry event in the town of Dupnitsa. In the past few years, the town has received much attention being a major point on the interstate connecting Greece and Macedonia with the Balkan Peninsula and the countries of the European Union. This has given the local Church of God a unique opportunity to minister to various ethnic groups and it was then that the need for a ministry building was recognized. The church has now finished the foundations of a very nice and solid church building project with a strategic location in the cities center by the river. The main work will be completed by the spring, which will empower the Dupnitsa Church of God for a new level of ministry. Our team was able to travel to the city with several fellow ministers and deliver a timely message to the people whom gathered in the cold winter eve. We enjoyed a warm spirit filled service which renewed and encouraged. After the service, we met with pastors who work with Bulgarian communities in Spain and England and discussed the possibilities for a short ministry trip to their churches in the near future.

Services at Samokov: Seeing through the Snowstorm

December 1, 2008 by  
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We were blessed with a very long and warm fall season this year, which made our travels around the churches both possible and pleasant. Yet the first snowstorm inevitable hit and did so during the time when our team was scheduled to minister in the Samokov Church of God. The storm caught us while in Sofia preparing to host the biannual election meeting for the Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association. It was so severe that it left a larger part of the country without electricity.  Regardless, we made our way through the curvy icy roads to the mountainous area of Samokov. As always, our travels were well worth it as we had one of the most anointed services in which the Lord led us to change what we were to deliver right after entering the church into His presence.  Ministering along side of Church of God Overseer, Alexander Todorov, we prayed with the hundreds in attendance. After fellowship following the service our team left with a team from the Samokov church to minister in a near by Church of God for the evening service.