December 3, 2018

Baptists Protest Bulgarian Proposal

As Bulgaria's legislators consider a new law restricting religious liberty rights, Baptists in the country and beyond raised their voices to protest the proposal. If passed, the law would create several new restrictions on religious rights, including in areas of theological education, missionary and worship activity, and international donations.

On Nov. 8, Baptist World Alliance General Secretary Elijah Brown and European Baptist Federation General Secretary Anthony Peck wrote a letter to the nation's prime minister to express concerns about the proposed rules. They argued that "the implementation of this law could lead to unintended restrictions on religious freedom and the direct persecution of churches and individuals of faith."

Leaders of the Baptist Union of Bulgaria joined thousands of other Christians in taking to the streets to protest the proposals. After the protests following Sunday worship on Nov. 11, additional rallies occurred the following Sundays as well.

 "We have not gathered to overthrow the government, to support any political party or to stand against any religion. We are here to defend the right to free faith expression for everyone,” Teodor Oprenov, pastor of Evangelical Baptist Church in Sofia, told one crowd of protesters.

Christians rally at Parliament Square in Sofia, Bulgaria, to pray and protest.
(Brian Davis/European Baptist Federation) 
May we pray and advocate for our brothers and sisters in Bulgaria.

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