The UMC in Bulgaria

The UMC in Bulgaria has more than 160 years of history behind it. As a minority denomination, it often struggled to survive — especially in the 40 years after the Second World War when almost all church activities were forbidden. By 1989, only three of the original 16 local churches had survived. But as a result of a huge commitment, the church was structurally re-organized and filled with life. At the center of this growth process, the founding of new churches exists side by side with the consolidation and stabilization of the existing ones. Many local churches and individuals have recognized that in a society going through a radical transition they are only credible when the proclamation of the Gospel goes hand in hand with practical help. Their current activities therefore combine both words and deeds in many different ways (e.g. ministry with prison inmates, educational programs, ministry with homeless people, etc.). Children and youth as well as people fromthe margins of society – particularly members from minority groups (Roma, Armenians, Turks)–aregiven special attention. In so doing, the UMC in Bulgaria has succeeded in becoming a model of peaceful coexistence and collaboration of people belonging to various ethnic groups – and this is a very important Christian witness in a region still challenged by ethnic and religious tensions.

On April 1, 2022, the Bulgarian members of Bulgaria-Romania Provisional Annual Conference have decided to separate from The United Methodist Church and to become part of the Global Methodist Church on May 1, 2022.

Statistical Information

Population: 7.3 millions
Area: 110,910 km2
Capital: Sofia
Religion: Orthodox (76%),
                    unaffiliated (12%)
UMC Churches: 0
Professing members: 0
Active Clergy: 0
Origin: 1857
Website: www.methodist.bg

(May 2022)

Facilitating an orderly separation that is as consensual as possible.

In early April, Bulgaria and Romania decided to separate from the United Methodist Church (UMC). Bishop Patrick Streiff talks about the outstanding issues and the consequences for his Episcopal Area.


Bulgaria and Romania have decided to leave the UMC

In an official letter dated April 7, 2022, Bishop Dr. Patrick Streiff commented on the fact that Bulgaria and Romania have decided to leave the UMC.

Designation of a new superintendent for the UMC in Bulgaria

Pastor Erdzhan Madzharov has been designated by Bishop Patrick Streiff as the new superintendent of The United Methodist Church in Bulgaria starting in spring 2022.


Growing in faith and acting out of love

This year's meeting of the Bulgaria-Romania Annual Conference was held from September 2-5, 2021, in Varna (Bulgaria).