Orthodox Conservatism and the Refugee Crisis in Bulgaria and Moldova

Abstract

In 2015, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church issued an unusual statement declaring that the arrival of refugees represented a "true invasion"in the region. One year later, during debates on Moldova's presidential elections, the Orthodox Church endorsed the fake news that 30,000 Syrians were about to arrive in the country. Drawing on interviews in Chişináu and Sofia, the article argues that the European refugee crisis has led to an internationally-linked Orthodox conservatism characterized by five components: defending a mythical past; fostering close relations with state authorities; anti- Westernism; building conservative networks at local, national, and geopolitical levels; and presenting Orthodox churches as alternative governance structures. These components shape religion-state relations in predominantly Orthodox countries in the region and have had a direct impact on the ways in which religious and state bodies have responded to populism and geopolitics.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/j.postcomstud.2021.54.1-2.83
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Politics & International Relations
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Aston Centre for Europe
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities
Additional Information: © 2021 by The Regents of the University of California
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bulgaria,Moldova,Orthodox Christianity,Politics,Refugee crisis,Religion,Development,Sociology and Political Science
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://online. ... edFrom=fulltext (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2021-06-01
Accepted Date: 2021-01-08
Authors: Leustean, Lucian N. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-1137-2307)

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Version: Accepted Version

Access Restriction: Restricted to Repository staff only until 1 June 2022.


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