- Australian Prayer Network - https://ausprayernet.org.au -

CHRISTIANS UNDER THREAT IN BULGARIA

Christians in Bulgaria continue to take to the streets in peaceful protests and united prayer rallies.  This follows the Bulgarian government’s draft amendments to the Religious Denominations Act 2002 that threaten the freedom of Christians, training of church leaders, and funding and support from outside of Bulgaria.  The proposed legislative changes were presented to the Bulgarian parliament last year and are soon to be considered again at a Second Reading.  Following two earlier protests organised by evangelical church leaders, thousands of believers recently marched to the National Assembly in Sofia to pray, sing hymns and voice their united protest.

A formal Declaration was publicly signed by 100 church leaders and delivered to the President and Prime Minister.  The Declaration read: “Bulgarian Church leaders urge fellow-Christians around the world to pray that God would overturn these proposed changes to the law.  We will continue the protests and prayer meetings in Bulgaria until the suggested changes are withdrawn or until we see realistic proposals which safeguard religious freedoms.  The draft law imposes severe restrictions on the life of churches and on domestic life and violates the Constitution and fundamental human freedoms such as the right to religion, the right to speech and the right to association.”

Here’s what we strongly disagree with:

  1. An unfair one-percent population threshold discriminating against small religions
  2. Misuse of Voluntary Census Data 2011
  3. Denouncing a terrorist threat from all denominations below one-percent of the population
  4. Work by the Directorate of Religions to monitor for terrorism
  5. Blocking of theological education in Bulgaria for smaller churches
  6. Disregard of academic degrees awarded abroad
  7. Control of the content of sermons
  8. Prohibition of disseminating spiritual literature
  9. Restrictions on clergy from abroad to serve in Bulgaria
  10. Required Licence and Spiritual Employee Certificates
  11. Filtering of international donations through the state directorate
  12. Granting lands and buildings under the statute of limitations of religious groups
  13. Prohibition of worship outside designated religious buildings
  14. Imposition of a minimum number of 3,000 people for registration of a denomination

Source: Transform Europe Network