The management of the capital’s rotunda “St. George” in Sofia demonstratively placed two Russian flags at the entrance of the ancient church, along with the Bulgarian and Samara flags. Pictures were published in the media and when asked by journalists what was the reason for this, a man from the temple answered: “Should we put up the American flag?”.
After an inquiry by dveri.bg it became clear that the trustee of the church Fr. Ioan Kukov has no blessing from the Sofia Metropolitanate of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church for this action. The diocesan leadership stated that this was an initiative of the priest and gave an order to remove the flags, which has already been done.
His Holiness the Bulgarian Patriarch Neophyte as well as some diocesan metropolitans condemned the war in Ukraine and took steps in support of Ukrainian refugees in our country. In the context of military events, the raising of the Russian flag over one of the oldest temples in our capital has a clear demonstrative character and sends a message of support for Russian aggression against its neighbor.
The action in the Rotunda is not an accidental event. On December 31, 2021, the Russian Ambassador E. Mitrofanova personally presented the church with a statuette of St. George. Despite the canonical prohibitions on the consecration of statues and the liturgical non-functionality of the statue, the gift was solemnly consecrated to create a festive event for embassy staff and sponsors.
In the church circles in our country the ideology, which today became the basis of the actions of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, is welcomed. According to this ideology, sinfulness today has a clear geographical origin. Europe is the source of evil and corruption, and Russia is the standard of Orthodox piety. Her wars are in fact metaphysical and aim to spread piety and deter the antichrist. Thus, the Orthodox proved to be easy to politically manipulate. Anti-European circles are forming behind the screen of pious endeavors and causes, which gladly serve the political interests of the regime in Russia. Among such worshipers, expansion in Ukraine can more easily be described as a war of liberation. The demonstration with the flags in front of the rotunda is an expression of these underwater church currents.