Moscow, January 23, 2017
Now the Bulgarian Orthodox Church has been nominated for a second time for the Nobel Peace Prize.
As the Bulgarian Patriarchate’s site reports, the nomination was officially submitted to the Nobel Committee in early January at the initiative of the former Israeli Minister of Health and Deputy General Dr. Ephraim Snekh, Haifa University law professor Moshe Keshet, and attorney Moshe Aloni, boasting the signatures of over 200 surviving Bulgarian Jews who had been rescued.
Many individuals risked their own lives to heroically save Jews from death and persecution during the Second World War, but the Bulgarian Orthodox Church was the only religious institution in territories under Nazi control to officially declare a position in support of the Jewish population. The Church’s consistent position, based on the perfect love which casts out all fear and lays down its life for another, inspired the Bulgarian public to resist the implementation of laws discriminatory against their Jewish neighbors.
The Bulgarian Orthodox Church had previously been nominated in 2013 on the seventieth anniversary of the rescue of the Bulgarian Jews, then submitted by Lachezar Toshev, Deputy Head of the Permanent Delegation of the National Assembly in Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, who said at the time: “This act of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church set a global precedent and is worthy of distinction, inasmuch as the Church thereby risked its own future to protect those of another faith.”
The winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize will be announced in October.