Segments in this Video

Muslims Keep Their Faith in Bulgaria (02:15)


Worshipers are called to prayer; only 10% of Bulgarians are Muslim. Muslims cleanse themselves and pray five times a day. Turks feel to pressure to conform; Muslims need more time to train Imams.

Struggling to Rebuild the Muslim Community (01:27)

In Bulgaria, the separation between religion and the state means that the government cannot help with Muslim needs; Communists took Muslim property and they need urgent help. A sense of brotherhood is strong in the Muslim community.

Practicing Religion Openly (02:45)

All Muslims over the age of 12 must attend Friday prayer at the mosque. A Mufti leads prayers for Ramadan after only two years of training; they are in Arabic and nobody can properly understand them. Muslims harbor bitter feelings toward Communists.

Effects of Communism in Bulgaria (03:07)

A man recalls the push to conform to a perfect Socialist Bulgaria; even the Turkish dead were forced to adopt Bulgarian names. Bulgaria still struggles to feed and clothe its own people. One man recalls being forced to speak only Bulgarian.

Government Attempts to Eradicate Turkish Presence (01:45)

In 1989, Bulgarian Turks receive passports to cross into Turkey; nearly 500,000 leave. Many Turks return to find their homes destroyed; a flat cost 10 years of wages or a 20 year wait. A family recalls their return to Bulgaria

Muslims Return to Bulgaria (03:10)

In 1989, a mosque mysteriously burns to the ground. Turkey proves a difficult destination for Bulgarian Muslims. Mrs. Mumum recalls her time in Turkey and subsequent return to Bulgaria. Experts explain the elements and importance of Ramadan.

Trying to Learn Islam (02:02)

Muslims believe that the Koran is the only true record of God's revelation. Muslim countries often have special classes in Arabic. Nevin Mumum struggles to learn Muslim traditions; she does not know what Ramadan means.

Democracy in Bulgaria (02:14)

The Bulgarian government owes a $15 billion debt to the West. In the first democratic elections, citizens vote for a Communist leader. The "Movement for Rights and Freedoms" represents Muslim interest. Ahmed Dogan discusses the group's positions.

Relearning Turkish Heritage (03:39)

Liberalization has spread to the educational system in Bulgaria; a revival of the Turkish language is present. Three Bulgarian Muslim leaders discuss creating independent Muslim leadership and increasing the knowledge of Islam.

Bulgarian Muslims Today (01:20)

Bulgarian Turks appear settled in the world they know. They still walk a precarious path between faith and political reality; the goals of both are not incompatible. We see a market with new goods.

Credits: Muslims in Bulgaria (01:12)

Credits: Muslims in Bulgaria

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Muslims in Bulgaria

Part of the Series : Credo: An Introduction to the Major Religious Traditions of Europe
DVD Price: $99.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $149.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



Throughout this century, the Muslim population of southeastern Europe has been hounded and periodically massacred. Communist Bulgaria continued the pre-Communist policy of "ethnic cleansing" (a misnomer, since many of the victims are Slavs), attempting to "Bulgarize" its Turkish-speaking Muslims. After a particularly tense time in 1989, Muslims are once again permitted to practice their religion openly, but after decades of official repression, knowledge of Islamic religious traditions is all too inadequate, even among the foremost religious leaders in the country. (30 minutes)

Length: 26 minutes

Item#: BVL4105

Copyright date: ©1993

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

Recommended by the Middle East Studies Association.

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Only available in USA and Canada.