WCC Eighth Assembly
Press Release No. 47
For Immediate Use
13 December 1998




The Bulgarian Orthodox Church has informed the World Council of Churches (WCC) that it has decided to discontinue its membership of the WCC.

The news was given in a letter dated 27 November 1988 from His Holiness Patriarch Maxim of Bulgaria addressed to WCC General Secretary, Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser.

Below is an English translation, supplied by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, of the original Bulgarian text:


"Dear Mr General Secretary,

The Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church at their session on the 9th of April 1998, Protocol No.9, having taken into consideration that the hopes from its membership in the World Council of Churches have not been fully justified, as well as the confusion of the Orthodox Christians in this country with that membership (of our Church in the WCC), with a view to safeguard the fullness of our holy Church, have decided to discontinue its membership in it.

The Holy Synod express their thanks to the WCC for the mutual contacts and the respective mutual aid so far.

We notify you that from now on the Bulgarian Orthodox Church cannot be represented at the WCC by any organization, foundation or private persons from Bulgaria or from outside its confines.


Respectfully yours



President of the Holy Synod

(s) + MAXIM
Patriarch of Bulgaria"

World Council of Churches
Press and Information Office, Harare
Tel:  +
E-Mail:  jwn8@staff.wcc-coe.org