The Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church Friday came out with an extraordinary press release, calling on the government not to allow any more refugees in the country.
In the last few months we have witnessed a wave of migrants from the countries in the Middle East and North Africa ravished by war, seeking asylum in the European states. A wave which is acquiring all attributes of an invasion, the press release says.
Let there be no doubt that the Orthodox Church sympathises and appeals for solidarity with all the people who have already found themselves among us and truly, not questionably need care and material support according to our capacity, the press release says. We are helping and will help with whatever we can the refugees who have already found themselves in our fatherland, and we do not distinguish them by faith or nationality. However, we think the Bulgarian government should not in any case allow more refugees in this country.
The church has always studied the reasons for any distress and has called for eradication of the reasons. The battle with the consequences is doomed if the reasons for the phenomenon are not eradicated, the Holy Synod says. Whoever has caused the reason for this problem has to overcome it. The Bulgarian Orthodox people should not pay the price of our disappearance as a state, the document says.
On the basis of this view, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church calls upon the Bulgarian government, if it is the government of a Christian state, to raise most categorically at all forums and before all international organisations in which it is party the issue of the immediate termination of the wars in the Middle East and North Africa, and the eradication of the reasons which have led to the mass displacement of millions of people from their homelands.
The Holy Synod also wants the government to raise the question whether there is religious purging of these territories from Christianity and how this can be incorporated in the rules of ethnic and religious tolerance.
The Holy Synod wants the government to raise before the international organisations the issue of how religious tolerance is guaranteed in Egypt, Syria and Iraq, and what measures the international democratic community will take to guarantee abidance by this principle in these countries.