Radostin Marchev in Bulgaria

Dear Friends,

For the rest of the month, we will be sharing prayer requests from Christian leaders in Eastern Europe, a region often identified with the countries that were once part of the Soviet Union or under its sway. Despite post-Communist secularism, the Eastern Orthodox Church wields considerable influence in the region. Protestants, however, remain a small minority and often face opposition. Learn more about Eastern Europe and Scholar Leaders’ work there.

This week, please join us in prayer for Radostin Marchev in Bulgaria.
 
A mountainous republic flanked by the Danube River to the north and the Black Sea to the east, Bulgaria is home to over 6.4 million people. According to the 2021 census, 65% of Bulgarians are Christians (primarily Bulgarian Orthodox), 16% are unaffiliated, 10% are Muslims, and 10% provided no response. Bulgaria’s vibrant culture reflects historic Thracian, Slavic, Bulgar, and Ottoman influences. Once part of the Eastern Bloc, Bulgaria was a socialist state from 1946 until the 1989 revolutions. Today, the country struggles with government corruption, a declining population due to emigration and low birth rates, and economic recession and inflation. Pray for the Church in Bulgaria as it ministers in this context, proclaiming Jesus Christ and the hope found only in Him.

Radostin is pursuing a PhD in Theology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands. His research examines the Virgin Mary’s place in theological dialogue between Orthodox and Protestant Christians. In Bulgaria, some misunderstanding and hostility persist between Orthodox and Protestant believers, who respectively make up 63% and 1% of the population. Through his research, Radostin seeks to foster mutual understanding and cooperation by articulating clearly where the two traditions converge and diverge theologically.
 
In addition to his studies, Radostin serves as Director of Education for the Baptist Union of Bulgaria. The Baptist Union currently trains 70 students at five study centers across Bulgaria. Radostin also supports his family and ministries through his work at a transport company operating in the Port of Varna along the Black Sea. Radostin and his wife Tzvetanka have two daughters: twelve-year-old Zornitsa and ten-year-old Daria.
 
Radostin shares the following message:

Plovdiv, Bulgaria by Anton Atanasov (Unsplash)

Though part of the European Union, Bulgaria is still politically unstable (six elections in just two years). The corruption levels are very high, and there are alarming attempts to restrict the freedom of the press.    

Our population identifies predominantly with Eastern Orthodoxy, although we also have a sizeable Muslim minority. All Protestant groups combined make up about 1% of the population. Though the number of theologically educated Protestants is growing, we still very much need academically trained people, especially at the PhD level, considering that there are no accredited Protestant schools in Bulgaria.

Prayer Requests

Please pray for perseverance in the final stages of my PhD studies.

Pray for wisdom in coordinating theological education for the Baptist Union of Bulgaria.

Pray for my family and for the time that I need to spend with them while juggling two jobs and PhD studies. 

In Christ,

Radostin Marchev


 

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