Bulgarian Orthodox Church Honors Victims of Communist Terrorist Attack in St. Nedelya Cathedral 90 Years Later

Bulgarian Orthodox Church Honors Victims of Communist Terrorist Attack in St. Nedelya Cathedral 90 Years Later

A memorial service was held at the St. Nedelya Cathedral in Sofia to honor the memory of 213 people killed in the same temple in the 1925 terrorist attack committed by the Bulgarian Communist Party at the order of the Soviet Union and the Comintern. Photo: St. Nedelya Cathedral website

A memorial service was held at the St. Nedelya Cathedral in Sofia to honor the memory of 213 people killed in the same temple in the 1925 terrorist attack committed by the Bulgarian Communist Party at the order of the Soviet Union and the Comintern. Photo: St. Nedelya Cathedral website

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church has held a memorial service to honor the memory of the hundreds of people killed in the terrorist attack at the St. Nedelya Cathedral in Sofia committed by the then outlawed Bulgarian Communist Party on April 16, 1925.

A total of 213 people died and more than 500 were wounded in the bombing of the St. Nedelya Church in 1925, the bloodiest terrorist attack of its time, which was carried out by the Bulgarian Communist Party at the orders of the Comintern (the Communist International), a union of world communist parties based in Moscow and commanded by the Soviet Union.

The memorial service has been held at the St. Nedelya Cathedral on Tuesday, April 21, 2015. It could not be held on April 16, the day of the terrorist attack, because this year Bulgarian Orthodox Christians celebrated Easter on April 12, and according to Orthodox rules no memorial services can be held during the Bright Week (Paschal Week, Renewal Week), the seven days after Easter.

The memorial service has been attended by Bulgarian Patriarch Neofit, and has been performed by Branitsky Bishop Grigoriy, vicar of the Sofia Metropolitan, who has reminded that the communist terrorist attack was carried out on Maundy Friday, and has asked God to protect the Bulgarians from bloodshed.

The bombing of the St. Nedelya Cathedral in Sofia in 1925 murdered 213 people (134 perished immediately, and the rest died of their wounds), and wounding about 500 others, primarily representatives of the political, military, and intellectual elite of the Third Bulgarian Tsardom (1878/1908-1944).

This 1925 photo turned postcard shows the blown up central dome of the St. Nedelya Cathedral in Sofia after the terrorist attack committed by the Bulgarian Communist Party at Moscow's orders. Photo: Wikipedia

This 1925 photo turned postcard shows the blown up central dome of the St. Nedelya Cathedral in Sofia after the terrorist attack committed by the Bulgarian Communist Party at Moscow’s orders. Photo: Wikipedia

At the time, the St. Nedelya (“Holy Sunday”) Cathedral in Sofia was known as “Sveti Kral” (“Holy King") because since the 18th century it has preserved the relics of Serbian King St. Stefan Uros II Milutin (ruler of the Serbian Kingdom in 1282-1321 AD). It has been known as St. Nedelya since 1930 when it was rebuilt after the communist bombing.

The responsibility for the terrorist attack was assumed by the military wing of the Bulgarian Communist Party which acted at the orders and with funding of the Moscow-based Communist International, the Comintern, and the military intelligence of the Soviet Union (Soviet Russia until 1922) in an attempt to destabilize Bulgaria and cause a “communist revolution" there.

At the time, the Bulgarian Communist Party was outlawed after in 1923, acting again on orders from the Soviet Union, it staged the so called September Uprising, a botched revolt in rural Bulgaria that led to a major bloodshed.

The terrorist attack at the St. Nedelya Cathedral was directly organized and funded by the Comintern, the Moscow-based world union of communist parties. The Comintern also organized the so called September Uprising, which is a revolt, after it decided that there was a “revolutionary situation" in Bulgaria. The very local communists in Bulgaria were neither ready, nor did they want to stage it but it was ordered by Moscow," says Prof. Kalin Yanakiev from the Philosophy Department of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski" speaking on private TV channel bTV.

The terrorist attack in the St. Nedelya Church was committed on Maundy Thursday during the memorial ceremony at the funeral of military general Konstantin Georgiev. Gen. Georgiev himself had been assassinated two days earlier by two terrorist murderers from the Sofia terrorist group of the Bulgarian Communist Party led by Petar Abadzhiev.

The communist terrorists hoped that the general’s funeral will bring together as many representatives of the Bulgarian political and military elite as possible so that they can assassinate them. Their main target was the 31-year-old Bulgarian Tsar Boris III.

They set off the explosives they had placed in advance in the roof of the St. Nedelya Cathedral at exactly 3.20 pm, just as Sofia Metropolitan Stefan was reading from the Gospel, and blew up the main dome of the church, which collapsed on top of the people inside.

Bulgaria’s head of state, Tsar Boris III, however, was several minutes late for the funeral of Gen. Georgiev, which saved his life.

The barbaric communist terrorist attack in the St. Nedelya Cathedral intensified the violent political strife in interwar Bulgaria. The revolts, assassinations, and terrorist attacks of the communists known as the “Red Terror" were followed by the government’s retaliatory measures known as the “White Terror".

The St. Nedelya Catherdral bombing was a foreboding of what was to come in 1944, when during World War II the Soviet Union finally managed “to cause a revolution" in Bulgaria by occupying the country and placing in power its loyal communists who committed mass murders and purges, and set up concentration camps for “political" prisoners. The truth about the terrorist attack in the St. Nedelya Cathedral was hidden during the communist period in Bulgaria (1944-1989) in an attempt to erase the event from public memory.

The St. Nedelya Cathedral in Sofia in 1922, before the 1925 bombing by the communists. Photo: Wikipedia

The St. Nedelya Cathedral in Sofia in 1922, before the 1925 bombing by the communists. Photo: Wikipedia

The St. Nedelya Cathedral in Bulgaria's capital Sofia in 1925 after the terrorist attack committed by the communists who blew up its main dome. Photo: Wikipedia

The St. Nedelya Cathedral in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia in 1925 after the terrorist attack committed by the communists who blew up its main dome. Photo: Wikipedia

Contemporary view of the St. Nedelya Cathedral. Its present architecture was created in 1930 when it was rebuilt after the communists' terrorist attack in 1925. Photo: Novinar daily

Contemporary view of the St. Nedelya Cathedral. Its present architecture was created in 1930 when it was rebuilt after the communists’ terrorist attack in 1925. Photo: Novinar daily