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Bulgarian professor: Russia wants to divide the Orthodox Christian world

23 June 2016

Clive Leviev-Sawyer

Bulgarian professor Kalin Yanakiev says that he is convinced that the Bulgarian Orthodox Church decided against attending the Pan-Orthodox Council in Crete because of influence from the Russian Orthodox Church.

Yanakiev, a philosophy professor who is also an editor-in-chief of the Bulgarian-language magazine Christianity and Culture, said in an interview with bTV that the arguments of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church for not taking part in the Pan-Orthodox Council were not very convincing.

The Pan-Orthodox Council, formally named the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, is currently underway in Crete, but with some churches absent, including the Russian and Bulgarian Orthodox churches.

Yanakiev gave the example of the argument that the decisions of the council should be taken with full consensus, saying that this rule was imposed years ago precisely by the Russian church so that no other Orthodox church could impose anything.

He said that his suspicions of Russian involvement increased when recently a Russian site, of Putin ally Aleksandr Dugin, posted a “vile lampoon” against Yanakiev and his colleagues who had advocated the participation of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in the Pan-Orthodox Council. The material has subsequently been removed from the site.

“At the moment we are committing a sin – to divide Orthodoxy into Russian, with which are Georgia, Bulgaria and Syria, from the Orthodoxy of the rest of the world. This is a schism,” Yanakiev said.

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