Arab in Bulgaria

Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Bulgaria is a Southeastern European country. It became a member of the European Union and NATO in the early 2000s. From the 15th to the 19th century, Bulgaria was part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. With the aid of Russia, Bulgaria freed itself from the Turks in 1878. The Bulgarian Communist Party lost it dominance in the nation in 1989. It was not until the early 21th century that the economy began to prosper and grow. The Slavic language of Bulgarian is the national tongue. About one tenth speak Turkish. Levantine Arabic is the primary family language of the Arabs residing in Bulgaria. Only portions of the Bible are available in Levantine Arabic. In recent times more Arabs are coming to Bulgaria as refugees escaping the turmoil in the home countries.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The first Arab people living in Bulgaria were college students who started to arrive in the 1960s. Some chose to stay in the country rather than return to Lebanon, Syria, Palestine or Iraq. They took jobs in teaching and the professions once they had mastered Bulgarian. These Arab families today are established in the Bulgarian middle class. They tend to live in urban settings. The more recent Arab arrivals fall into the lower classes. They must find housing, employment and learn Bulgarian. Arab men take any job they can find to support their families. Arab children quickly learn Bulgarian in the public schools. Some go on to universities and find professional careers upon graduation. Arabs living in Bulgaria are trying to find a balance between maintaining their native language, religion and culture and becoming Bulgarian citizens. Arab parents want their children to marry within their own people and religion. They encourage their children to pursue a higher education. The father is the head of the family. Arab women are gaining more status as they become college educated and work outside the home. Arabs living in Bulgaria have more children than their Slavic neighbors. Having children, especially sons, is seen as a blessing from Allah.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Bulgarian Arabs are mostly Sunni, the largest branch of Islam. They try to obey the teachings of the Koran and the prophet Muhammad. Sunnis believe that by following the Five Pillars of Islam that they will attain heaven when they die. However, Allah, the supreme God of the universe, determines who enters paradise. Sunnis pray five times a day facing Mecca. They fast the month of Ramadan. They attend mosque services on Friday. If a Muslim has the means, he or she will make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in his or her lifetime. Muslims are also prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, using deceit, slandering, and making idols.The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah. As far as we know, there are few if any followers of Christ among Bulgarian Arabs. 

What Are Their Needs?

The Arabs who come are refugees to Bulgaria have many pressing needs such as finding housing and employment. Bulgarian believers can help meet those needs. Most of all the Arabs must come to understand that Isa or Jesus is much more than a human prophet as he is portrayed in the Koran. Jesus is their only hope for the forgiveness of sins.

Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Arab in Bulgaria.

* Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of Bulgarian Arabs towards the good news. * Ask the Lord to raise up a Disciple Making Movement among the Arabs of Bulgaria in this decade. * Pray that Arab parents in Bulgaria would be able to meet the needs of their children. * Pray that Bulgarian believers would reach out and build redemptive relationships with the Muslim Arab neighbors.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Arab
People Name in Country Arab
Pronunciation AE-rub
Population this Country 11,000
Population all Countries 704,000
Total Countries 31
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Anglolan Arabs; Baggara; Bedouin Arab; Bosnian Muslims; Chavus; Coast; Coast Arab; Hemat; Iraqi Arab; Lebanese Arab; Levantine Arab; Nawar; Palestinian Arab; Palestinian Arabs; Saudi Arab; Syrian Arab; Syro-Lebanese Arab; अरब
People ID 10375
ROP3 Code 100425

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Primary Language Arabic, North Levantine Spoken (11,000 speakers)
Language Code apc   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Arabic, North Levantine Spoken (11,000 speakers)
Language Code apc   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Arabic, North Levantine Spoken

Primary Language:  Arabic, North Levantine Spoken

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1939-1981)
Bible-New Testament No
Bible-Complete No
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Arabic Bibles Online
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (Global Recordings Network)
Film / Video Video / Animation
Film / Video The Story
Film / Video Together Toward Growth
Film / Video Together Toward Growth (EngSub)
General Gospel resources links (Scripture Earth)
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Comic Book Version (SuperBible )
Text / Printed Matter Tools for faith conversations
Primary Religion: Islam
Religion Subdivision: Sunni
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.30 %)
5.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
95.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
2.0 %
75.0 %
Other Christian
2.0 %
1.0 %
Roman Catholic
20.0 %
Photo Source Pat Brasil  Creative Commons 
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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