Bulgarian Orthodox calls for country to close borders to migrants

The Holy Synod has called upon the government to accept no more Muslim migrants or refugees from the Middle East and North Africa, saying they represent a threat to the nation

The Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church has called upon the government to accept no more Muslim migrants or refugees from the Middle East and North Africa, saying they represent a threat to the nation. In a 700-word statement released on 25 Sept 2015 under the signature of Patriarch Neophyte (pictured) the church addressed the “so-called ‘refugee problem’,” saying the synod had examined the issue in light of how it “would affect the long-time Orthodox people, the flock that our Lord Jesus Christ has entrusted to our care”. “In recent months we have witnessed a wave of flooding from countries of the Middle East and North Africa impoverished by war countries, seeking refuge in European countries people. A wave, which has acquired all the signs of an invasion,” the Holy Synod said. The church urged the government to come to the aid of those already admitted to the country, but noted that the call to open Europe’s borders to all economic migrants and refugees was morally wrong. It “raises questions about the stability and existence of the Bulgarian state in general,” the Synod said noting that taking in those who wish to have a better life in Europe would change the existing ethnic balance in “our fatherland Bulgaria, in which God ordained our Orthodox people dwell”.The Bulgarian Orthodox Church was ready to assist in providing care to, “are those who would feel well among us,” and “for those whom the care, provided to them by an Orthodox Christian society, is not some kind of moral problem.” But those migrants who refuse to assimilate should not be settled in Bulgaria as “it will mean that the Christian community in the future would have a bigger problem than we currently suspect,” the Holy Synod said.

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