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Metropolitan Naum of Ruse, who is a member of the Holy Synod, announced that the church "St. St. Nicholas the Wonderworker" was built with the blessing of the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church as a legation church in 1914, located in the common courtyard of the then Russian Legation - on the corner of Tsarigradsko shose Str. "Rakovski" and ul. "Moskovskaya".
From 1936, at the insistence of the Soviet government, the church was taken away from Russian emigrants and handed over to the Bulgarian government, which in turn handed it over to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. "According to a decision of St. Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church since 10.10.1952, all other Russian Orthodox parishes, monasteries and clergy in Bulgaria have passed into jurisdiction and possession of the BOC.
In 1944 the temple was badly damaged, and in 1945/1946 it was restored by the Sofia Bishopric. In the following years, various Bulgarian priests were appointed there, and along with them served Russian clergy, permanently residing in our country after the October Revolution.
Mitrofanova threatens Bulgaria over the case with the Russian Church
Again by a decision of the Russian Orthodox Church, in November 1953 in the former legation church "St. St. Nicholas" in Sofia was opened a court with representative functions, as the Bulgarian priests in it continued to be appointed by the Sofia Metropolis, and the Russian Orthodox Church began to periodically send its official representative.
"In recent years, the Bulgarian priests-ephemeria, for reasons unclear to us, have been successively removed from this temple, which is fundamentally absurd due to the fact that its functions are only representative in nature. Accordingly, its tangible property cannot and should not be considered Russian, and the BOC cannot claim that the church-palace in Moscow is Bulgarian property, as the character of the two courts is reciprocal," the Metropolitan of Ruse said.
On September 21, the priests of the Russian church mission in Sofia were summoned to the immigration service of Bulgaria. There they were served with a request to leave our country within 24 hours, because on the basis of a report of SANS they pose a threat to our national security. We are talking about the abbot of the mission of the Russian Orthodox Church in Sofia Archimandrite Vasian Zmeev, the secretary of the mission Archpriest Yevgeny and an employee of the temple.
As a result, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that the Russian Church in Sofia is closing its doors.
Vassian Zmeev was among the Russian diplomats expelled from North Macedonia last week. He is also a senior cleric of the Moscow Patriarchate, who for several years lived and worked in Sofia. Since the end of November last year, it has been unofficially appointed by Patriarch Kirill to be responsible for the Macedonian Church. In addition to I. Hropyatchkov, A. Rozhdestvenski, as well as the attaché S. Popov, who carried out inappropriate diplomatic actions, Vasian Zmeev was also declared persona non grata and was forbidden to enter North Macedonia any longer.
The Russian Church