Bulgarian church urges govt to stop migrants

2015-09-25 19:52
(Yasin Akgul, AFP)

(Yasin Akgul, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sofia - The Bulgarian Orthodox Church said on Friday the Balkan country's authorities should not let any more migrants cross its borders, encouraging government's determination to tackle an influx that has overwhelmed its neighbours.

"We consider that our government should in no way allow more refugees into our country," the church said in a statement, signed by Patriarch Neofit, the head of the Orthodox Church, and other members of the Holy Synod - the church's top executive body.

The Black Sea state, a member of the European Union but not of the border-free Schengen Area, has deployed more border police, installed cameras and motion sensors, and is extending a security fence to cover 160km of its border with Turkey. But more migrants keep arriving.

Tens of thousands of migrants, most of them fleeing war and hardship in Syria, are trying to reach Western Europe through Bulgaria's neighbours, non-EU members Macedonia and Serbia.

The church expressed its compassion and solidarity for those already in the country but said the problem should be solved by those "who created it".

"For those who are already here, it is right for us, as Orthodox Christians and as a society, to look after as much as we can and as much as our scant resources allow us, but not any further," the church said.

"The Bulgarian Orthodox people should not pay the price of our disappearance as a state."

Some 4.37 million Bulgarians, around 75% of those who wished to reveal their religion at the most recent national census in 2011, say they are Orthodox Christians - the mainstream religion also in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Greece, Romania and Serbia.

Only few, however, see churchgoing as important to their lives.

Trust in the Orthodox Church was shaken after a history commission showed a few years ago that many bishops collaborated with the former communist era secret police.

Read more on:    bulgaria  |  migrants

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

6 myths about male cancer
Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.