Bulgarian Church Canonizes Victims of Ottoman Atrocities in 1876

Society | April 3, 2011, Sunday // 16:51| Views: | Comments: 3
  • Send to Kindle
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Church Canonizes Victims of Ottoman Atrocities in 1876 Bulgarian Patriarch Maxim (left) pictured with the icons of the newly canonized Holy Martyrs of Novo Selo (middle) and Holy Martyrs of Batak (right). Photo by BGNES

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church has canonized the martyrs of massacres committed against Bulgarian civilians by Ottoman irregulars and troops in the April Uprising of 1876.

Thousands of Bulgarian freedom fighters rebelled against the authorities of the Ottoman Turkish Empire in April 1876 seeking to liberate their nation and create an independent nation state.

The so called April Uprising was crushed with great violence by Ottoman forces but its coverage in the European press – facilitated primarily by American journalist working for British papers Januarius MacGahan – led to an international outrage and a humanitarian intervention in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 that liberated the Bulgarian nation-state.

A total of 30 000 Bulgarians, mostly civilians including women, children, and elderly, are estimated to have been slaughtered by the Ottoman forces in April and May 1876.

Between 4000 and 5000 Bulgarians were butchered in the Batak Massacre – in the southern town of Batak – described by MacGahan in a shocking account, while some 700 were slaughtered in the region of Novo Selo, Kravenik, Batoshevo, and Apriltsi – villages in Northern Bulgaria near Lovech.

While thousands of Bulgarians were murdered by the Ottoman Turkish forces, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church has canonized the victims of the Batak and Novo Selo massacres in particular as martyrs and defenders of the Christian faith as they sought refuge from the troops dispatched against them in local churches and monasteries.

In the case of the Novo Selo massacre, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church canonized in particular two monks and seven nuns from a local monastery who were tortured and murdered by the Ottoman troops.

Thus, the martyrs of the Batak Massacre will be honored by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church on May 17, and the martyrs of Novo Selo – on May 9.

The canonization performed Sunday in the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia by Bulgarian Patriarch Maxim was followed by a street procession honoring the newly proclaimed saints. Patriarch Maxim consecrated specially designed icons of the martyrs authored by icon artists Miroslav Asenov and Vladimir Avramov. The icon of the Holy Martyrs of Batak will be kept to Plovdiv, north of Batak, and the icon of the Holy Martyrs of Novo Selo will be kept in the town of Apriltsi.

This is the first canonization performed by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church since 1963 and the first one ever performed by Bulgarian Patriarch Maxim since he took over in 1971.

"We accept the decision of the Holy Synod and believe that the martyrs of Batak and Novo Selo deserve to be canonized," declared Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov in the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. The canonization of the martyrs of the 1876 April Uprising was also welcomed and attended by Bulgarian Parliament Chair Tsetska Tsacheva, Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova, and hundreds of Bulgarians including MPs.

"We are here to pay our respects to the martyrs for the faith and freedom of Bulgaria," Tsacheva declared.

Dozens of residents of the town of Batak also came to Sofia for the canonization.

Society » Be a reporter: Write and send your article
Tags: Tsetska Tsacheva, Bulgarian President, Georgi Parvanov, Alexander Nevsky cathedral, Saint, martyrs, Holy Synod, Russian-Turkish Liberation War, liberation, Orthodox Christians, Holy Martyrs of Novo Selo, Holy Martyrs of Batak, Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Maxim, Ottoman Empire, Ottoman Turkey, 1876, April Uprising, Apriltsi, Kravenik, Batoshevo, Novo Selo, April Uprising, Novo Selo Massacre, Batak Massacre, Batak, canonized, canonization, massacre
Expats.bg All Are Welcome! Join Now!
Please, log in to post a comment.
» To the forumComments (3)
Nellieherself - 3 Apr 2011 // 20:55:05

More than four (4) of the worlds' seven (7) BILLION citizens reject militant Islams' hostile agenda and many (if not most) will resist to the death its objective for a global Caliphate. Animosity that's harbored towards the motives and atrocities of militant Islam is bone deep and irreversible for those of us who love FREEDOM and cherish Liberty. The reprehensible actions of Muslims primitive, 7th century religion are despised! Militant Islam openly preaches systemic hatred and murder for all who disagree with its demonic agenda of global dominance which will NEVER be embraced. Militant Islam is beyond the pale of mere contempt. In the same vein as Nazi Germany, Militant Islam is clearly worthy of the term DEMONIC! Islamists and their vile, militant religion are the proven enemies of mankind and the polar opposite of all that’s good and just in the world!

I'm gratified by the joyful realization that economic wealth from so called, “Muslim oil” in the Middle East will someday soon run out. Currently Middle Eastern oil reserves are optimistically projected to last for only two or three more decades. This will place a huge crimp on the agenda of militant Islam and those of its despicable ilk.

Free nations of the world and their citizens will easily survive without "Muslim oil" in the future and quickly adapt using alternative energy sources such as natural gas, wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and nuclear. However, with few natural resources of their own, Muslim nations of the Middle East will only continue a rapid descent to the bottom where they started before discovery of oil in the Middle East.

What will they do then? It’s clear! They and their damnable, militant, religion will be condemned to the ash heap of history and all people who cling to the demonic doctrines of militant Islam will be condemned to a life of hopeless ignorance and grinding poverty. In that bright future for the rest of the world, intelligent and articulate people will read footnotes posted on the pages of history detailing how toxic, primitive and worthless Islam's very existence proved to be for the peace and dignity of Man!

I'm one proud and free Infidel who simply can't wait! A shoe for all Muslims!

Dino the Athenian - 3 Apr 2011 // 19:20:19

I think the underlying issue is much deeper than the canonization procedure.

Pay not attention to the act of canonizing, rather to the reasons leading to the April Uprising of 1876:


Bulgaria news Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, political and cultural news that take place in Bulgaria. Foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and World News in Brief are also part of the web site and the online newspaper. News Bulgaria