The country has an area of 42,855 square miles and a population of 7.6 million. The majority of the population, estimated at 85 percent, identifies itself as Orthodox Christian. Muslims comprise the largest minority, estimated at 13 percent. According to the Council of Ministers Religious Confessions Directorate, there are approximately 150,000 evangelical Protestants, up to 30,000 Armenian Christians, and 3,000 Jews. According to a 2005 report of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, only 50 percent of the six million who identify themselves as Orthodox Christians participate in formal religious services. The same survey found that 90 percent of the country's estimated 70,000 Catholics regularly engage in public worship. Approximately 30 percent of Catholics belong to the Byzantine Rite Catholic Church. There are 100 registered religious groups in addition to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church (BOC). Orthodox Christianity, Hanafi Sunni Islam, Judaism, and Catholicism are generally understood as holding a historical place in Bulgarian culture.
Some religious minorities were concentrated geographically. The Rhodope Mountains (along the southern border with Greece) are home to many Muslims, including ethnic Turks, Roma, and "Pomaks" (descendants of Slavic Bulgarians who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule). Ethnic Turkish and Roma Muslims also live in large numbers in the northeast and along the Black Sea coast. More than half of Roman Catholics are located in the region around Plovdiv. Many members of the small Jewish community live in Sofia, Rousse, and along the Black Sea coast. Protestants are more widely dispersed throughout the country. Areas with large Roma populations tend to have some of the highest percentages of Protestants.