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On its last work day of 2018, the Bulgarian Parliament voted amendments in the nation’s Religious Denominations Act. A number of problematic provisions were pulled out of draft following local protests and international pressure.
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.
Amid Advent worship services, Bulgarian evangelicals ended their civic rallies with a workday vigil on Thursday and a snow-flurry street protest on Sunday.
Protests and prayers continue in Bulgaria for the sixth week.
An interview with Pastor Vlady Raichinov, Vice President of the Bulgarian Evangelical Alliance.
“Dozens of letters arrive in support to this cause, millions support us”, says the Bulgarian Evangelical Alliance. Prayer vigils planned for the next days.
The European Christian Political Movement adds pressure to the Bulgarian government. Christians across Bulgaria have been praying and protesting for the last four weeks.
More than 3,000 people prayed in Sofia in the third Sunday of rallies. The bill that would severely restrict religious freedom has not been passed yet.
Bulgarian lawmakers concede some restrictions in a new Religion Denominations Act after international pressure and intensive protests. A new constraint however threatens the legal existence of many denominations.
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.
“We highly appreciate all the letters you sent to our government officials. We pray that they will consider them carefully”, says the President of the Bulgarian Evangelical Alliance, Rumen Bordjiev.
Bulgarian evangelicals protested peacefully on November 11 against a draft law which could severely restrict religious freedom of faith minorities. Churches rallied in Sofia and other cities after the Sunday worship services.
The European Evangelical Alliance and the World Evangelical Alliance issue statements calling to stop a legislation that would give “huge and unnecessary powers to the Bulgarian State to interfere with faith communities”.
With the new legislation, the state is implementing strong restrictions over international donations for religious purposes, and is placing itself in a position to control the training and the activities of ecclesiastic ministers.
All ministers of faith minorities representing less than 1% of the population “would be required to be Bulgarian citizens, having graduated theology in this country”, explains Vlady Raichinov, Vice President of the Bulgarian Evangelical Alliance.
A special choir and orchestra, a documentary and talks about the history of Protestant work in the country.