Bulgaria's EU entry to increase Orthodox influence in Europe
MOSCOW. May 8 (Interfax) - Bulgaria's accession to the European Union will bolster the positions of Orthodoxy on the European continent, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II told Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev at a meeting in Moscow on Tuesday.
"There is a need to preserve the riches of national culture and religious traditions within an environment involving various peoples," he said.
Alexy II said he is hopeful that "Bulgaria's accession to the EU will give Orthodoxy a greater say." Greece and Romania, which are also EU members, have a predominantly Orthodox population, he said.
"Amid globalization and European integration, which is its individual factor, it is increasingly important to maintain one's identity and to avoid getting absorbed [by other peoples] or getting lost on the world's cultural map," the patriarch said.