December 28, 2018

Religious Freedom Victory in Bulgaria

After weeks of protests in the streets by Baptists and others (and international advocacy by leaders of the Baptist World Alliance and European Baptist Federation), Bulgaria's legislators on Dec. 24 dropped proposed legal changes that would have restricted religious rights in areas of theological education, missionary and worship activity, and international donations. This Christmas Eve gift brought joy to many Christians in Bulgaria.

"We are relieved to state that the most discriminatory and limiting clauses which affected us have been successfully removed or changed appropriately," Teodor Oprenov, pastor of Evangelical Baptist Church in Sofia, told the Baptist Standard. "We are fully aware that this would not have happened without the strong international "support and prayers that questioned the intentions of our lawmakers and the strong and consistent protesting and lobbying within the country."

Elijah Brown, BWA general secretary, called it "a true Christmas blessing." It's great to see the power of prayer and advocacy!

Christians rally at Parliament Square in Sofia, Bulgaria, to pray and protest.
(Brian Davis/European Baptist Federation) 

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