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Main events in Bulgarian civil and church history

354: The first references to Proto-Bulgarians in Latin sources.
515: Proto-Bulgarian and South Slav invasions in the Balkan Peninsula.
680: A victory of Proto-Bulgarian troops and South Slavs over the Byzantine army lays the grounds of Medieval Bulgaria.
680-1018: First Bulgarian Kingdom.
864: Christianity is adopted as the state religion in Bulgaria.
4 March 870: Upon the closure of the Eightieth Ecumenical Council its participants recognize the establishment of a Bulgarian Church as an autonomous archbishopric under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
886: The Slavonic alphabet is brought to Bulgaria by disciples of Saints Cyril and Methodius.
919: An ecclesiastical council in Preslav elevates the Bulgarian Archbishopric into Patriarchate and proclaims its autocephaly.
926: Envoys of the Roman Pope perform the coronation of Simeon as King of Bulgaria and grant a pallium to the head of the Bulgarian Church.
1018: Bulgaria is conquered by Byzantium
1185-1393: Second Bulgarian Kingdom
8 November 1204: Bulgarian Tsar Kaloyan signs a union treaty with Pope Innocent III.
1235: The Bulgarian Church returns to Eastern Orthodoxy and gains recognition as autocephalous patriarchate by the Church Council in Lampsak (Asia Minor), presided over by Patriarch Germanos II of Constantinople and attended by the patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem.
1371: Bulgaria is divided between the sons of Tsar Ivan Alexander: Tsar Ivan Shishman takes the Kingdom of Tûrnovo and Tsar Ivan Sratsimir – the Kingdom of Vidin.
1393: The Kingdom of Tûrnovo is conquered by the Ottomans.
1396: The Kingdom of Vidin is conquered.
End of the fourteenth century: The Bulgarian Patriarchate of Tûrnovo is transformed into a Metropolitan diocese of the Constantinople Church.
1601: Pope Clement VIII establishes the Catholic Metropolinate of Sofia with its See in the city of Chiporvtsi (Northwestern Bulgaria).
1624: Pope Urban VIII declares Bulgaria as a Catholic custody, directly subordinated to the General of the Order of St. Francis of Assisi.
1624: Iliya Marinov from Chiprovtsi becomes the first Catholic Bishop of Bulgarian ethnic origin (1624-1641).
1820s-1870: Bulgarian national movement for Church independence
3 April 1860: The leaders of the Bulgarian national church movement declare secession from the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
18 December 1860: Unia is signed between part of the Bulgarian Christians and the Roman Catholic Church. The new “Church of the United Bulgarians,” i.e. Greek Catholics or of Byzantine rite, is recognized by the Turkish government.
28 February 1870: The Sultan issues a decree for the establishment of a Bulgarian Orthodox Church under the name “Exarchate.”
16 September 1872: The Patriarchate of Constantinople declares schism over the Bulgarian Exarchate.
3 March 1878: The San Stephano peace treaty, signed between Turkey and Russia, proclaims the establishment of an autonomous Bulgarian Principality
1 July 1878: The Berlin Treaty, signed by the Great Powers, splits the San Stephano Bulgaria into parts with a different political status: 1) the tributarian Principality of Bulgaria (present-day Northern Bulgaria with the region of Sofia); 2) the autonomous province of Eastern Rumelia (present-day Southern Bulgaria); 3) the provinces of Macedonia and Edirne Thrace where the Sultan’s rule remains unchanged.
6 September 1885: Unification of Eastern Rumelia with the Bulgarian Principality.
22 September 1908: Bulgaria is proclaimed an independent kingdom.
9 September 1944: Communist coup d’état.
22 February 1944: The ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople abolishes the schism of 1872 and grants full autocephaly to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
8 September 1946: The abolishment of the monarchy and establishment of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria.
10 February 1947: Bulgaria signs the Paris Peace Treaty.
December 1947 - March 1948: Mass nationalization of the private industrial and mining enterprises in Bulgaria; the banks; the big unmovable property in the Bulgarian cities; the private forests.
6 September 1948: Exarch Stefan – the head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, is overthrown.
24 September 1949: The first Bulgarian Law on religious denominations is adopted.
10 May 1953: The Bulgarian Orthodox Church claims its patriarchal dignity.
22 July 1961: The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople recognizes the patriarchal dignity of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
1970-1974: Campaign for forcible change of the names of Pomaks, i.e. Bulgarian speaking Muslims.
1984-1985: “The Revival process” – a mass forcible change of the names of the Bulgarian citizens of Turkish ethnic origin.
10 November 1989: Todor Zhivkov resigns as leader of the State and of the Bulgarian Communist Party.
4 January 1990: The Movement for Rights and Freedoms is founded as a party of the Bulgarian Turks.
15 January 1990: The Parliament abolishes Article 1 of the Bulgarian Constitution (1971), which used to guarantee the leading role of the Communist Party in society.
3 April 1990: The Bulgarian Communist Party changes its name to Bulgarian Socialist Party.
15 November 1990: The Parliament changes the name of the State from ‘People’s Republic of Bulgaria’ to ‘Republic of Bulgaria’.
7 May 1991: Bulgaria becomes a member of the Council of Europe.
1 July 1997: A currency board is introduced in Bulgaria.
2003: The Bulgarian Christmas Charity Campaign is introduced.
2004: Bulgaria holds the OSCE Chairmanship.
29 March 2004: Bulgaria joins NATO.
31 March 2006: A constitutional amendment introduces the Ombudsman institution.
19 December 2006: Act on Access to and Disclosure of the Documents and Announcing Affiliation of Bulgarian Citizens with the State Security and the Intelligence Services of the Bulgarian National Army.
2007: The Committee on Access to and Disclosure of the Documents and Announcing Affiliation of Bulgarian Citizens with the State Security and the Intelligence Services of the Bulgarian National Army is established.
1 January 2007: Bulgaria becomes a member of the European Union.
February 2010: election of Kristalian Georgieva as Euro commissioner from Bulgaria.
February 2011: Census of the population of Bulgaria.
2012: death of Patriarch Maxim of Bulgaria, head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
2013: election of Metropolitan Neophyte of Ruse as Patriarch of Bulgaria.
2014: elections of Bulgarian representatives for the European Parliament.
2014: parliamentary elections in Bulgaria.
2015: refugee crisis.
1 January 2018 - 30 June 2018: Bulgaria presidency over the EU.
2018: the Constitutional Court of Bulgaria declares the incompatibility of the Istanbul Convention with the Bulgarian Constitution.
5-6 May 2019: visit of Pope Francis to Bulgaria.
March 2020: spread of the Covid pandemic in Bulgaria.
October 2021: Census of the population of Bulgaria.

See also the list of the Governments of Bulgaria since its Liberation
from the Ottoman Rule in 1878

D 15 November 2021    ADaniela Kalkandjieva

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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