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Recently in Sofia a Trump Society was founded and its first meeting saw a number of politicians, businessmen, analysts and journalists known for their affection for Putin, the Russian interpretation of Orthodoxy and the former Bulgarian Communist Party with all its recurrent nationalist incarnations. In the autumn of 2015 many of these individuals participated actively in the media campaign against the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s visit to Sofia. According to information from the press, the campaign started after the diplomatic intrigue cooked by General Reshetnikov, Director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS), but the Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, State Agency of National Security (SANS), socialist MPs and pro-Russian journalists were its perpetrators and supporters in Sofia. The scandal provided an alibi for the Bulgarian Orthodox Church
During the Pan-Orthodox Council in Crete in June 2016, the Serbian Patriarch Irinej and the Romanian Patriarch Daniel responded negatively to only one of the proposals made by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, namely to condemn nationalism in the Church which Bartholomew obviously saw as a Russian strategy to undermine Orthodoxy. The idea of condemnation of nationalism proved a serious problem for several Balkan churches unable to see further than the end of their nose. The misuse of nationalist ideas by the Balkan churches is a fact well known to analysts in Moscow and since the 19thc. it has been used cleverly to provoke internal conflicts in the Balkans only to weaken the region and make it an easy prey to Russian imperialist colonial interests. Greece’s Disappointment Despite
In the last year, the behavior of the Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church (BOC) became increasingly radical, while its members are evermore eager to assume the posture of “religious patriots” defending ecclesiastical independence (autocephaly) and the “purity” of Orthodoxy. It turns out that in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church religious radicalism is tolerated at the highest level, with three bishops (Nicolas, Gabriel and Ioanikiy) openly supporting orthodox fundamentalists. All Orthodox churches which recognize democracy, human rights and Western civilization have also unequivocally been condemned in recent Synod decisions issued in connection with the Pan-Orthodox Council in Crete (June 2016), voted under pressure from the two most active members of the Synod. In this media environment, many Bulgarian decision-makers did not consider enough the importance of hybrid war fought by the