The Bulgarian Easter

April 10, 2004 by  
Filed under News

Bulgaria became a Christian country in 864 AD. under the reign of Kniaz Boris I. However, in the middle of the 19th century, Bulgaria was under Ottoman oppression and under the influence of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchy which dictated the religious expression of the Bulgarian church.

On April 3, 1860, during Easter Sunday service in Constantinople, the Bulgarian bishop Illusion of Makariopol expressed the will of the whole Bulgarian people by solemnly proclaiming the separation of the Bulgarian church from the patriarchal in Constantinople. The day commemorating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ coincided with the resuscitation of the Bulgarian people. However, the struggle continued for another ten years when Russia forced Turkey to legally recognize the independence of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. In 1870 a firman of the sultan decreed the establishment of an autonomous Bulgarian church institution – the Bulgarian exarchate.