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You're reading: Bulgarian Christian Orthodox bishop Cyril found dead on beach

The body of Cyril, 59, who headed one of Bulgaria’s biggest Christian Orthodox eparchies and also served as an interim patriarch, was discovered near his coastal residence. An autopsy showed he had drowned and there were no signs of violence.

About 80 percent of Bulgarians say they are Orthodox Christians – the mainstream religion also in Russia,Ukraine, Belarus, Greece, Romania and Serbia, but few see churchgoing as important to their lives, recent surveys show.

Trust in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church was shaken after an historical commission reported in January 2012 that 11 of its 15 bishops collaborated with the old Communist secret police and maintained a luxurious lifestyle.

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