82% of Bulgarians Eastern Orthodox Christians

Views on BG | December 12, 2002, Thursday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0

Eastern Orthodox Christians constitute 82.6% of Bulgaria's population. Some 12.2% of Bulgarians identify themselves as Muslims, 0.6% as Catholics, and 0.5% as Protestants.

These are the final data from the March 2001 population census released by the National Statistical Institute.

The seven censuses conducted since 1910 show that the proportion of Orthodox Christians to the country's population has ranged between 82.6% (in 2001) and 85.7% (in 1992), and Muslims between 12.2% (in 2001) and 14.4% (in 1926).

A combined survey of religious and ethnic identity shows that some 2% of ethnic Bulgarians profess Islam and 1.3% of ethnic Turks identify themselves as Christians (Orthodox, Catholic, or Protestant).

The last census shows an increase in the number of Protestants. In the early 20th century there were 4,524 Protestant Christians in Bulgaria (0.1% of the population). In 1992, a total of 21,878 persons identified themselves as Protestants, and in the next eight years their number doubled. The increase is due to a growing number of Roma adopting Protestantism. Currently, more than half of Protestants in Bulgaria are Roma.

In March 2001, only 573 of the 1,363 members of the Jewish community said that they profess Judaism.

A total of 1,243 persons said in 2001 they adhere to the teaching of Peter Dunov (Dunovism), a fourfold increase on 1992. Another 1,042 persons identified themselves as Buddhists, 533 as Krishnaites, 105 as Bahais, and 23 as Lutherans.

Some 3.9% of Bulgarians did not identify themselves as members of any religious community.
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