In April 2004, Bulgaria was officially accepted into the global structure of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The event followed a long series of historic developments that were accomplished despite the existence of highly antagonistic forces that opposed the very idea of Bulgaria’s membership in any Western alliance. Among these were internal and external political, economical and social factors that historically have forced the country to remain under the influence of the forces opposing the West.
Territorially, this tendency could be traced to the dramatic split of the Roman Empire even before the establishment of the first Bulgarian Kingdom on the Balkan Peninsula in 681AD. The consecutive military, cultural and economical influence of Byzantium over the Bulgarian nation claimed the newly established country to the side of the East from its birth. This propensity was sustained through the two Bulgarian Kingdoms (established respectfully in 681AD and 1188AD). It was renewed with even greater strength when the Ottoman Empire overtook the weakened country of Bulgaria in 1139AD and for the next five centuries, the Orient claimed control of European Bulgaria.
In 1878, Bulgaria was liberated from the Ottoman Yoke by Russia, but only to remain under its political and economical umbrella for the next 111 years until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. This event reaffirmed Bulgaria’s belongingness to the East as the country joined the Central Powers throughout World War I and deliberately remained with the Axis Powers in World War II. Продължете да четете The Case of a NATO Chaplaincy Model within the Bulgarian Army