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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Bulgarian Church Where Jews Found Refuge during Holocaust May Receive Nobel Peace Prize

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2017 Mar 13
  • Comments

A campaign has been started to award the Nobel Peace Prize to a Bulgarian church for its work protecting Jews during the Holocaust.

During the time in history when many people, including many religious people, were simply going along with the Nazi orders targeting Jews, the Bulgarian Independent Orthodox Church took a stand.

According to Christian Today, the church voted unanimously to condemn the anti-Semitic laws and vocally opposed the forced deportation of Bulgaria’s 48,000 Jews to Nazi death camps.

Members of the church reportedly saved 1,500 Jews from being taken to concentration camps.

For these acts of heroism, Bulgarian-Israeli lawyer Moshe Aloni has begun a campaign to nominate the church to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. An online petition has thus far received 758 signatures.

“Due to the heroic acts of these two prominent leaders and their willingness to speak up and take action, the deportation of the Jews of Bulgaria was postponed again and again until it was finally cancelled with the end of the war,” wrote Moshe.

The petition singles out two men in particular who were at the forefront of protecting Jews during the Holocaust. Metropolitan Bishop Stephan, the highest ranking cleric of the Bulgarian Church at the time, and Metropolitan Kirill, the head of the Bulgarian Church in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, both helped save Jews and resisted their own government in doing so, as the Bulgarian government was an ally of Nazi Germany.


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Publication date: March 13, 2017