News from Europe

How Communists persecuted Christians: Bulgaria

In 1945, teaching of religion in schools was abolished. In 1953, the entire property of the Church was liquidated. The clergy was subjected to physical terror.


Until the beginning of the 1950s, several hundred Bulgarian clergymen were imprisoned. Over 300 of them were imprisoned in the Belene Island concentration camp.

As in other Communist countries, particularly severe repression was applied against the shepherds of the Church in Bulgaria. In 1952, three bishops were imprisoned.

One of them, Bp. Ivan Romanov, who contributed to the rescue of Jews during World War II, died in prison as a result of torture. Bishop was waiting longer for his martyred death. Eugene Bosilkov.

The bishop of Nikopol was arrested on July 16, 1952. He was tortured during the investigation. However, he did not break. After a farcical trial, he was sentenced to death.

While waiting for the execution, he wrote to his relatives: “You do not worry about me. I have already received God’s grace and remained faithful to Christ and the Church. Bishop Bosilkov was shot on November 12, 1952, and his body was thrown into a mass grave.


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