Vadat Ahmed added that the Ottoman Empire played a significant role in the spread of Islam in Bulgaria.
Most Bulgarian historians have attempted to portray people’s conversion to Islam as a result of pressure from the Ottomans but there is evidence that people embraced Islam based on their own interest in the religion, he said.
Ahmed said during the Ottomans’ rule, Bulgarians had a better chance to learn about Islam.
He further referred to the Communist era in his country, saying that between 1949 and 1989 when communists were in power, practicing religions was banned but Muslims maintained their faith and carried out their religious obligations in secret.
Pointing to the current status of Muslims in Bulgaria, he said most of the country’s Muslims live in southern and northeastern regions and that most of them are Hanafi Sunnis.
The deputy Mufti noted that there Islamic schools and universities active in Bulgaria.
He also highlighted the activities of the Mufti’s office, saying it holds religious programs, including Quranic courses and religious competitions and runs Islamic schools.
Bulgaria is a Balkan country where Orthodox Christianity has the most number of followers.
Muslims are the second-largest community and constitute 10 per cent of the population.