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The Spanish Evangelical Alliance denounces “the erroneous imposition of political authority in the religious life” of Bulgarians, in a letter to Members of the European Parliament.
Bulgarian evangelical Christians have received the support of several international organisations, after the Bulgarian Evangelical Alliance warned about the drafting of a new religion law that would severely restrict religious freedom.
After the reactions of the European Evangelical Alliance, the World Evangelical Alliances, and the World Baptist Federation, national alliances have also started to write to political representatives.
“We have learned about the passing in a first reading of a religious liberty law in the Parliament of the Republic of Bulgaria (…) which restricts the exercise of religious freedom”, says a letter to the Bulgarian ambassador in Spain, signed by the Secretary General of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE).
The draft law, the letter says, would control foreign funds received by faith minorities, interfere in theological education and establish state controls over ministers. If the law is passed, “the Bulgarian State would assume power over the internal life of religious communities in an inadequate way”, the Spanish Evangelical Alliance writes.
“Almost every article of these new legislation imposes the political authority on the religious life in an erroneous way”, says the letter signed by the Secretary General of the AEE, Jaume Llenas.
As a result of the proposed law, “thousands of citizens would be placed in a position of fragility and the exercise of one of their fundamental human rights would be restricted: religious freedom”.
Spain has a past in which faith minorities were persecuted, the AEE explains in the letter. “As a religious minority in our country, we know well how fundamental and vital this freedom is, and how much suffering and injustice the negation of this key right has caused in the past. We believe religious freedom is the foundation of a prosperous and open society”.
The letter sent to the Bulgarian ambassador in Spain, Ivan Kondov, ends by saying: “We ask the Embassy of Bulgaria in Spain to intercede with its government to stop the approval of this draft law, and promote a fairer law, which guarantees the religious freedom of all citizens, no matter what religion they adhere to”.
The Spanish Evangelical Alliance has sent a similar letter to Members of the European Parliament.