Different faiths take part in Festival of Religions in Sofia
Bulgarian capital city Sofia’s first Festival of Religions, held on September 28, drew large crowds of visitors who came to learn more about the religious faiths represented and provided a “full house” for performances by choirs representing various religions.
Six faiths and denominations took part, including Bulgaria’s Jewish and Muslim communities, representatives of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Armenian church, the Roman Catholic church and the Evangelical Alliance.
Diplomatic representatives who attended included the ambassadors of the United States, Israel, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
Speaking at the opening, Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandukova said that for centuries, Bulgaria had proved that peaceful co-existence between different religions was possible.
Fandukova said that the location of the festival was symbol, because it was at the triangle of tolerance where representatives of almost all religious denominations in Bulgaria prayed – the Sveta Petka and Sveta Nedya Orthodox churches, the Banya Bashi mosque, the Sofia Central Synagogue, with the St Mary Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church and Protestant places of worship nearby.
The president of the National Council of Religious Communities – co-organiser of the event with Sofia municipality – Professor Rupen Krikoryan said that the festival conveyed messages of peace, love and light that were the philosophies of each religion.
(Photos: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)