Country Stats

  • Population: 6.98 million

  • Area: 110,910 sq km

  • Capital: Sofia

  • Language: Bulgarian

  • Currency: Bulgarian Lev

  • Unemployment: 10.1%

  • Religion:   Orthodox Christianity was the state religion until 1945, although there has also been a large Islamic presence since the Ottoman Empire. Despite religious freedom, the Orthodox Church retains primacy today. 1.9% Evangelicals (Source: Operation World)

TEN partners with churches and organisations in Bulgaria who are working to overcome corruption, abuse and a spiritual barrenness. TEN supports Bulgarian partners as they serve the poor and share the love of Jesus in their communities. Some of the ways they are doing this include leading churches of varying denominations and sizes, offering women a shelter to escape abusive relationships, providing training for gypsy girls, and distributing Christian magazines to women across Bulgaria.

Our Partners in Bulgaria

Prayer Requests

  • Please pray that the economic problems subside and are managed with honesty and skill by economists and members of parliament.

  • There are thousands of adults who are unemployed and grossly underpaid. Please pray for increased opportunities for a greater and fairer earning power.

  • Pray that the organised crime and corruption that is prevalent will be dismantled and removed, especially from areas of governance.

  • Please pray that the sex trafficking trade will be immediately stopped and that the vulnerable young girls will be reunited with family or given safe and healthy care.

  • With an alarming number of abusive relationships, pray that attitudes towards women will change and that loving, nurturing relationships will become normality.

  • Pray for the Bulgarian church as they seek to disciple a nation. Pray for unity across denominations and for discerning wisdom amongst church leadership.

  • Pray for renewal and new life within the Orthodox Church, that congregations will become active followers of Jesus 24/7 not just dutiful attendees of church services.

The Need

Bulgaria was involved in both Balkan Wars, winning the first but emerging losers in the second. This left Bulgaria militarily weak. They declared neutrality in WWII but were swayed by Hitler with an offer of Macedonia. Russia invaded Bulgaria and Allied forces bombed Sofia from the air inflicting heavy loss of life and demolishing huge parts of the capital. Following WWII a man nicknamed ‘Little Stalin’ governed Bulgaria. The name was given for his unquestioning loyalty to the strict Stalin regime.

Communism followed, which was enforced by the Bulgarian secret police who had a fearsome reputation for dealing with dissidents. Communism in Bulgaria included a total ban on religion and a strict doctrine allowing residents virtually no individuality or personal creativity. Communism fell in 1989 and the subsequent electorate collapsed within a year.

The 1990’s were a period of economic chaos, hyperinflation, a sharp drop in living standards and woeful poor access to food and fuel.

Bulgaria joined the EU in January 2007; unfortunately, the European Commission have since accused Bulgaria of inadequate measures to fight money-laundering, vote-buying, fraud and organised crime. An EU spokesperson gave this damning summary “Bulgaria today is characterised by low wages, unemployment and the growth of organised crime.”

Problems faced by the population include the lowest wages in Europe (the public sector workforce resigned enmasse in 2009 in protest at wages of less than £100 per month); high unemployment; deserted villages as the working age population move to towns in search of work; and stories of over 10,000 women being trafficked for sex every year. In the face of these problems, many people in Bulgaria are committed to improving the economic and social needs of their country. In addition to some excellent Christian Churches and Social Care Organisations, a growing tourism industry in the ski resorts & along the Black Sea, is boosting the economy.

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