ADVERTISING
 
Thursday, January 24   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Bible literacy
How often do you read the Bible?







SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Religious freedom
 

Bulgarian Parliament votes new religion law - most articles restricting freedoms expected to be dropped

Christians in Sofia expressed relief after very important changes were introduced in the proposed law after a key meeting of the Parliament's Committee for Religion and Human Rights with evangelicals and other religious groups. Parlamentarians will vote the rest of the law on Friday 21.

AUTHOR Evangelical Focus SOFIA 20 DECEMBER 2018 17:42 h GMT+1
Plenary session of the Bulgarian Parliament on 20 December. Krasimir Velchev, Committee of Religions and Human Rights chairman directs the voting process. / Vlady Raichinov

Bulgaria will have a new Religious Denominations Act on Friday December 21, but the threat of severe restrictions of the basic freedoms of evangelical Christians and other faith minorities in the countries could be over.



On Wednesday 19 December, only 24 hours before the start of the vote, a long meeting of the Parliament's Committee for Religion and Human Rights with representatives of the country's faith groups made major changes to the text that responded to the objections of evangelical Christians and other religious groups such as Muslims and Roman Catholics.



The evangelical community of Bulgaria was represented by pastor Rumen Bordjiev (BEA president), Greta Ganeva (Bulgarian Evangelical Alliance secretary), Vlady Raichinov (BEA vice president), as well as Viktor Kostov and Nevena Stefanova ("Freedom for All" legal rights group). They had voice but only lawmakers had a vote in the proposed changes of the provisions.



The open discussion on the law amendments led to what seem to be very important changes. "In a nutshell, almost all of the troublesome issues were dropped off by the lawmakers in this committee. Apparently, all the international pressure gave results", an evangelical representative told Evangelical Focus.



 



The Wednesday 19 December meeting of the Committee of Religion and Human Rights of the Parliament of Bulgaria conceded to drop most of the restrictive provisions after international pressure. / Vlady Raichinov



These last minute concessions came after seven weeks of protests and prayer of evangelical Christians across Bulgaria.



Members of the European Parliament, Members of the Council of Europe, non-profit religious freedom organisations, and organisations such as the World Evangelical Alliance and the World Baptist Alliance, among others, had sent letters to the Bulgarian government asking to stop a new religion law that would have severely restricted the freedoms of faith groups representing less than 1% of the population.



 



LAW EXPECTED TO BE PASSED ON DEEMBER 21



On Thursday 20 December, the national Parliament in Sofia started to vote the Religious Denominations Act.



 



Iskren Veselinov, MP of a nationalistic party authoring many of the restrictive provisions tries to defend his ideas as the Parliament votes them out. / Vlady Raichinov



Vlady Raichinov, Vice-President of the Bulgarian Evangelical Alliance told Evangelical Focus: "A small part of the law has already been voted. Parlamentarians stopped working today and went home for the evening. Tomorrow [Friday 21 December] morning the lawmakers plan to discuss the rest of the provisions. So far, they have been following exactly what the Religious Denominations Committee reached as agreements yesterday. This means that most of the aspects that are troublesome are being dropped one by one during their plenary session. Hopefully the same tendency will continue tomorrow".



"At 8 AM tomorrow morning, Evangelical Christians will gather in front of the Parliament building with flags and posters and Christmas music. They will pray for God’s hand to be on the lawmakers. Parliamentary deliberations start at 9 AM, and will probably be pushed rather quickly. God is in control".



Bulgarian evangelical Christians also expressed gratitude towards all those around the world who "stand in prayer with us".




 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Bulgarian Parliament votes new religion law - most articles restricting freedoms expected to be dropped
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities

Christians rallied in Sofia on November 18 to defend their rights. It is the second Sunday of peaceful demonstrations against a new religion draft law that could severely restrict religious freedom and rights of minority faith confessions.

 
Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

 
Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Did Hitler base his anti-Semitic views on Christianity? Did Hitler base his anti-Semitic views on Christianity?

An answer by Richard Weikart Professor of Modern European History, California State University Stanislaus.

 
China rises 16 places in Open Doors World Watch List China rises 16 places in Open Doors World Watch List

There has been an serious increase in persecution of Christian communities in China in the last months.

 
The source of longing, according to C.S. Lewis The source of longing, according to C.S. Lewis

Jerry Root compares the search for meaning of C.S. Lewis with Saint Augustine's reflections.

 
Bulgarian evangelicals ask politicians to defend “basic freedoms” Bulgarian evangelicals ask politicians to defend “basic freedoms”

Protests and prayers continue in Bulgaria for the sixth week.

 
That night That night

“No one came ot help that night, no nurse to numb the fright...”

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.