Bulgaria has fewest priests per capita in Europe – survey

Bulgaria, where the majority of the population declare themselves to be Orthodox Christians but which also endured decades of officially atheist communist rule, has the fewest priests per capita among European countries.

Bulgaria had 12 priests for every 100 000 people, according to a survey cited by Greek website Romfea, at the opposite end to the country at top spot, Greece with 87.7 priests per 100 000 people.

Italy, where the majority are Roman Catholic, was in second place, with 82.8 per 100 000, and Romania – though like Bulgaria, a former communist country – third, with 80.1.

At the same time, Bulgarians rate as among the most religious people in Europe, according to the survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center.

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(Photo, of a Bulgarian Orthodox Church chapel in the Black Sea village of Bliznatsi: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)