An Overview of Religion in Bulgaria

Bulgaria has a complex makeup of different religions which make it one of the most diverse and interesting confluences of religion in the world. Bulgarian Orthodox is the primary religion in the country but there are also many other religions including Roman Catholics, Jews, and Protestants.

Around 12 percent of the cНестинариountry are also made up of Muslims. One of the reasons for the many religions is the geographical location of the country. Bulgaria is located in the east of Europe and is bordered by Romania, Turkey, and Greece, among others. For this reason, it has been highly influenced by Eastern and Western religions such as the Holy Roman Empire and also the Ottoman and Byzantine Empires which can be considered to be Eastern Europen religions. Its proximity to the Middle East has also meant that the country has been influenced by Islam, thus the considerable Muslim population. However, unlike many regions in the vicinity, especially the Balkans, Bulgaria has by and large avoided any great religious tensions despite the many religions that coexist in the state.

This mix of religions has made Bulgaria a largely tolerant country when it comes to religion. Not only are many religions practiced but there is also a wide variety of architecture which includes many churches, synagogues, and mosques. Indeed the capital, Sofia, has been given the name The Square of Religions. This is due to the many religious buildings that stand in the same square and are utilized without theocratic tension.

Bulgaria’s constitution considers the traditional religion of the state to be Orthodox Christianity, though amongst the population there is no such thing as a dominant religion even though most of the population, around 85 percent subscribe to Christianity. In the census which took place in 2011, almost 10 percent of people stated that they had no religious affiliation.