Bulgarian Orthodox Church Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
The Bulgarian Orthodox Church has been nominated by MP, Lachezar Toshev, for the 2013 Noble Peace Prize.
The occasion is the 70th anniversary of Bulgaria rescuing its Jews from deportation to Nazi concentration camps during World War II.
Toshev says he wants to make the above more popular and globally known, stressing the involvement of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in the rescue of Jews is unprecedented on international scale and must be recognized.
The MP further explains the Church has been under Hitler's territorial control, yet dared to openly state its position and oppose him, including not only the deportation, but laws discriminating against Jews.
The nomination is a precedent as well as it involves for the first time ever a religious institution.
The only known Bulgarian nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize is the one of Prime Minister, Andrey Lyapchev, in 1910, by the Speaker of the Parliament, Hristo Slaveykov. The Nobel Committee has a rule to not reveal nominations in any area for 50 years.
In the first half of the 20th century, Bulgaria had 7 nominations for the Nobel Prize for Literature, mostly on the initiative of Sofia University professors, but the Peace Prize has different criteria.
A large pool of officials is entitled to make nominations – Members of the Parliament and of the Cabinet of a country, university scholars, members of the International Arbitration Court in The Hague, current and former members of the Nobel Committee, advisors of the Nobel Institute, and Nobel Peace Prize holders, among others.
2011 registered a record 241 nominations for the Peace Prize, which has been surpassed in 2013 with 259 ones.