Bulgarian PM meets church leaders, pledges pay rise for clerics of all religions

The Bulgarian government and the Bulgarian Orthodox Church have agreed that controversial amendments to the Religious Denominations Act will be changed before its second reading in the National Assembly.

This emerged on October 4 after Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, accompanied by representatives of parliamentary groups behind the amendments, held talks with Bulgarian Orthodox Church head Patriarch Neofit, other senior clerics from the church and lawyers for the Holy Synod, the church’s governing body.

After the talks, Borissov told reporters that the state would give at least 15 million leva extra to enable a pay rise for clerics of all religions, which he said would put them on a par with teachers’ pay.

Borissov said that it was no coincidence to equate salaries with those of teachers because clerics not only preached but also educated.

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