Johannesburg, South Africa, May 15, 2023
The first-ever Bulgarian Orthodox Church in the Republic of South Africa was consecrated over the weekend.
The consecration of the Church of St. John of Rila in Johannesburg was celebrated by the visiting Bulgarian hierarch His Eminence Metropolitan Cyprian of Stara Zagora and attended by His Eminence Metropolitan Damaskinos of Johannesburg and Pretoria of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, reports the Bulgarian News Agency.
The service was also attended by Bulgarian President Rumen Radev who visited South Africa on Friday and Saturday.
“I am convinced that this holy place will be an increasingly stronger spiritual center of attraction for all Bulgarians in the region,” Radev said. According to the Bulgarian outlet dir.bg, as of 2017 there were between 25,000 and 30,000 Bulgarians living in the African country.
“To have a place of worship away from our homeland has been a dream of ours for a very long time,” said Yordan Radkev, President of the Association of Bulgarians in South Africa.