Early Bulgarian Pentecostals witnessed great growth while enduring great persecution. Nicholas Nikoloff wrote an account of the Bulgarian believers’ deep faith and suffering in the July 9, 1932, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.
Nikoloff was intimately familiar with the subject of his article. He served as general superintendent of the Union of Evangelical Pentecostal Churches in Bulgaria from 1928 until 1931, when he moved to the United States.
“The striking thing in Bulgaria is the great spiritual hunger of the villagers,” Nikoloff wrote. Miracles were common, according to Nikoloff, and “some of the believers have a real gift of healing.”
Bulgarians fanned the Pentecostal flame by publishing two periodicals and numerous tracts, which they distributed widely. A number of Bulgarian young people received formal theological education at a Pentecostal Bible school in Danzig, and others took local evening Bible courses.
This Pentecostal progress attracted the attention of government officials and local religious leaders, who tried to quash the growing movement.
Nikoloff recounted, “The believers were severely persecuted. Some were imprisoned. Many of them were arrested, taken through the streets and people made fun of them. Others were forbidden to even pray in their own homes, and threatened severely by certain local authorities.”
Despite these difficulties, Nikoloff reported that “God gave victory and liberty was granted.” This acceptance was gained in several communities because of healings of young people who were demon possessed or lame. Pentecostals continued to grow and, by World War II, constituted the majority of Protestants in Bulgaria.
Read the entire article by Nicholas Nikoloff, “The Signs Follow in Bulgaria,” on page 6 of the July 9, 1932, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.
Also featured in this issue:
• “Two Types of Spirituality,” by A. G. Ward
• “An Interesting Trip in the Fiji Islands,” by Lawrence Borst
And many more!
Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.
IMAGE: Bulgarian Pentecostal leader Nicholas Nikoloff, with wife Martha, son Paul, and daughter Ruth-Marie Nikoloff, 1937.
Source: AG News