October 4, 2012

16,000 Bulgarians To Get Their Own Church in Bari, Italy

September 28, 2012

The Bulgarian community in the southern Italian city of Bari, which consists of 16,000 people, will have a Bulgarian Orthodox temple of its own, the Bulgarian Culture Ministry announced.

The news emerged Friday after Bulgarian Culture Minister Vezhdi Rashidov met with Bari Mayor Michele Emiliano.

It will be served by Rome-based Bulgarian priest archimandrite Kliment Bobchev, the Culture Ministry said.

Bari Mayor Emiliano has promised Rashidov that the Bulgarian community in the city will receive a municipal plot to erect a temple of its own.

"The Bulgarian community in Bari believes in its identity and enriches us with its culture. That's why we will be glad to provid them with both a temple, and a plot for a new church," the mayor stated.

Thus, in his words, until they manage to build their own church, the Bulgarians in Bari will be allowed to use one of the existing Christian temples in the city to hold religious services.

Rashidov and Emiliano also agreed to hold reciprocal "Culture Days" of the respective city in Sofia and Bari.

The local authorities in Bari has expressed support for Rashidov's initiative for the signing of two Bulgarian-Italian memorandums – for the prevention of illegal antique trafficking, and for cooperation in film making.

Bari Mayor Emiliano has presented to Rashidov a silver replica of the oldest image of St. Nicholas.