Religions and languages in Bulgaria
Religions and languages in Bulgaria
Bulgarian is the country’s officially recognized language. It is also included into the country’s constitution. This is the only language written in Cyrillic letters that has been formally designated as an EU language. This language is used in a number of the European Union’s key publications. If we look at the country’s population from an ethnic standpoint, we can claim that more than 85 percent of its inhabitants are Bulgarians. As a result, they do not speak their original language fluently. Only a tiny fraction of Bulgarians regard other languages, such as Turkish, Romanian, Russian, or Roman, to be their mother tongue.
It should be mentioned that, in addition to the official language, the Turkish language is the most generally spoken on the country’s territory, since Turks account for around 8% of the total population. Additionally, you may meet native speakers of Hebrew, Greek, Armenian, Tatar, and Arabic, among others.
It is worth emphasizing that, in addition to the local population’s reasonably loyal attitude toward speakers of various languages, the Bulgarian Constitution contains pertinent regulations defining citizens’ rights and duties. Thus, every citizen of the nation is required to be conversant with and proficient in the official state language. Simultaneously, persons who became eligible citizens of the state while being born in another state (their original state) have the right to use their native language alongside the official state language as long as they do not distribute it. Due to the fact that a significant portion of the local population is natural Turkish speakers who regard the language as their mother tongue, there are frequent disruptions in language policy. For instance, large demonstrations occurred in Bulgaria eight years ago. Activists gathered signatures in order to conduct a referendum. Certain locals requested the ability to watch local Bulgarian television in Turkish. However, at the time, the Prime Minister prohibited the holding of a referendum on this subject.
The reality is that the majority of those involved in such activities were native Bulgarian speakers. Thus, in the Government’s perspective, the majority did not have the authority to rule on problems affecting the minority. Bulgarians of the younger generation who pursue higher education make an effort to enroll in at least one foreign language course. This is because, in Bulgaria, like in other Euro zone nations, technology is steadily improving, resulting in a plethora of chances in a variety of fields of activity. However, several key scientific articles are often published in foreign languages, making translation into Bulgarian economically illogical. At the turn of the twentieth century, French and German were the most popular second languages. Nowadays, the majority of Bulgarians opt to study English. This became even more critical once Bulgaria joined NATO and the European Union.
Religious beliefs, on the other hand, are distinct from the state and cannot be applied politically. Bulgaria has always been considered an Orthodox nation. According to the findings of the most recent census, almost 80% of the local population self-identifies as Christians. Simultaneously, Orthodoxy is not the only form of Christianity that is widely practiced in Bulgaria. Additionally, the country’s territory is home to congregations that practice Catholicism and Armenian apostolicism. Protestants are also present in various locations. They number around 25 000 in the nation. Additionally, Adventists, Baptists, and Jehovah’s Witnesses exist. It should be mentioned that the latter have a negligible social role in compared to other nations.
Despite the fact that a sizable portion of the local population believes themselves to be entirely religious, religious groups have a very low level of attendance. Only 12% of all Christians attend church at least once a month. The remainder opt to attend on significant religious festivals or to avoid such facilities altogether, preferring to trust in God alone via the soul. However, data indicate that even atheists often participate actively in religious celebrations such as Christmas and Easter. Around 11% of all believers in the nation are Muslims. It should be highlighted that religious beliefs do not face any unique conflicts or hostility. Bulgaria is especially attractive for religious excursions, since it has a variety of pagan religious monuments, such as ancient Thracian sanctuaries and graves.