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Patriarch of Bulgaria's Orthodox Christian church dies after long illness

Patriarch of Bulgaria's Orthodox Christian church dies after long illness

Tributes continue to pour in for the leader of Bulgaria’s Orthodox Christian church, Patriarch Neophyte, who passed away on Wednesday.

In a statement, the church said he had died as a result of “multiple organ failure” after a long illness.

The 78-year-old had been hospitalised with lung disease since last November at the military medical academy in the capital Sofia.

Neophyte was the first elected head of the church in the post-Soviet era and sought to restore its reputation tainted by links to the communist secret police.

Orthodox Christians make up over 80 per cent of Bulgaria’s nearly 7 million people.