An Appeal to the Bulgarian Patriarch Neophyte in Relation to Fascist Lukov March
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Our love for Bulgaria and our alarm at signs of rising racism, neo-fascism and xenophobia in the country, lead us to appeal to you as a spiritual leader of the nation whose voice and position have great social impact.
At this moment, hate ideologies that arose in the last century and caused suffering of a whole continent, are unfortunately trying to make a return. Unfamiliar with the horror of this history, young people in Bulgaria and Europe are beginning to embrace them. In February in Sofia, for several years now, an annual march has been held in honor of a Bulgarian fascist general from the 1940s. Unfortunately, in government circles, individual representatives and political groups support such a march; others pass it by in silence.
In the history of Bulgaria, the Orthodox Church played a critical role during WWII by publicly expressing firm opposition to the hate ideology of fascism: “The question of our attitude to the Jews is clear”, Metropolitan Kiril stated publicly in 1940. “We are Christians and as hierarchs of the holy Bulgarian church we stand on no other ground than the message of the Holy Gospel and the teaching of Christ on the equal worth of all human beings in front of God, regardless of their origin, race and culture”.
We believe that your word about the unacceptability of any speech, demonstrations and acts of hatred, which had a positive result in the past, valued by the whole world, will have the same weight and influence today. Let it be heard – as a public statement, as well as in your daily work with the community, in defense of the Christian principles of love, solidarity and mutual help. We believe in your historic role for the building of a better present and future for everyone – in Bulgaria and around the world, for the future generations.
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