April 2, 2011

Bulgarian Church Canonizes Batak Massacre Victims

April 2, 2011

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church will canonize over Saturday and Sunday those massacred by Ottoman forces in Batak and Novo Selo during the 1876 April Uprising.

A memorial service will be held 18.00 Saturday at the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia, after which a canonization service will be held at 9.30 Sunday morning, followed by a church procession.

After that act, the victims will become saints of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.

During what became infamously known as the Batak Massacre, thousands of Bulgarians, including women and children, were killed by armed Ottoman forces in the wake of the failed 1876 April Uprising that aimed at Bulgaria's liberation from the Empire.

The atrocities drew some serious attention in the West, raising an outcry, and creating some sympathy with the Bulgarian cause.