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Bulgaria Fact Sheet.

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Bulgaria Fact Sheet  
General

Area: 110,910 sq km or slightly larger than the state of Tennessee

Borders: Macedonia, Serbia, Romania, The Black Sea, Turkey and Greece

Population: 8.5 million
83.6%Bulgarian
9.5% Turks
6.9% Roma, and other

Religion:
68% Bulgarian Orthodox
14% Muslim

14% Atheist
4% Jews, Catholics and Protestants
Less than 1% evangelical Christians

Capital: Sofia

Monetary Unit: leva

 

 

 

People

BULGARIANS: The Bulgars were a Turkic tribe that came into the Balkan area after 600 AD soon after the Slavs. The Bulgars were the minority group and quickly took political control of the Slavs-but the cultural, social, and religious ways of the Slavic majority prevailed.
Although the country is named “Bulgaria”, its people and culture are predominantly Slavic. The Bulgarian language is written in the Cyrillic alphabet and is closely related to that of the Russians, Slovaks, Serbs, and other Slavic peoples.

TURKS: From the late 1400s the IslamicOttoman Empire ruled Bulgaria for 400 years. Ethnic Turks had settled in the area centuries before that time and comprise 6 to 9% of Bulgaria’s population.
The overthrow in the 1870s of Turkish rule in the Balkans was violent and bloody, but for the most part, the Bulgarians live in peace with their Turkish neighbors.

POMAKS: Offspring of ethnic Bulgarians who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule. They speak Bulgarian rather than Turkish.

Altogether, Bulgaria is around 14% Muslim

GAGAUZ: In Bulgaria there are small numbers of Gagauz--the only indigenous Turkish Christian group in the world. Revival has taken place in the Gagauz district of Moldova, and they may be the key to evangelism in nations like Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Turkey.

ROMA: Also known as “Gypsies”, they constitute 3% of Bulgaria’s people. Shunned for centuries, the Gospel is being received by the Roma, and some are worshiping alongside their Bulgarian neighbors.

JEWS: Significant fact: Although Nazi Germany forced Bulgaria into an alliance in WW2, Bulgaria refused to send their Jews to Hitler’s death camps. Not one Jew was transported out.

Food

Bulgarians like to start the meal with a salad of chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and onions in summer or pickled vegetables in winter.
Most main dishes are lamb, chicken or pork based. Grilled meats are also very popular.
Sirene is the common cheese made from cow or sheep milk.
Banitsa is a flaky pastry filled with sirene and often served for breakfast. It can also contain spinach, leeks or pumpkin and walnuts.
Yogurt is a staple in the Bulgarian diet claimed to have originated there.
Kapama is a traditional stew said to contain at least 7 types of meat cooked slowly in an earthenware pot.