New Socialist Attack on Religious Freedom in Bulgaria

March 25, 2016 by  
Filed under Featured, News

christian_communismOver 26 years after the fall of the communist regime, the socialists left are reintroducing a new war against Christianity and religious freedom in Bulgaria. Two weeks after the introduction of draconian bill by George Kadiev, imposing full state control over believers and churches, the socialist parliamentary group filed in the registry of the National Assembly on March 14th a broader bill to restrict religious liberty in Bulgaria via government regulations according to which unregistered religions (faith confessions) have no right to:

  1. Hold religious meetings;
  2. Create and maintain charitable or humanitarian institutions;
  3. Write, issue and disseminate religious publications;
  4. Have educational establishments;
  5. Collect and receive unsanctioned donations;
  6. Associate or confide with people and communities at home or abroad on subjects of religion and religious issues.

In practice, the new bill introduces a new form of compulsory registration of believers by the state. The left socialist legislators seek to repeal fundamental human rights enshrined in Bulgaria’s Constitution and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR), as follows:

  1.  The right to freedom of thought (Art. 9 ECHR and Art. 37 CRB)
  2. The right of forming beliefs and the non-obligation to give information about one’s convictions (Art. 38 CRB, Art. 9 ECHR)
  3. The right to freedom of conscience and religion (Art. 9 ECHR Art. 37 CRB)
  4. Freedom of speech, press and media (Art. 40 CRB)
  5. Right of expression (art. 10 ECHR, Art. 39 CRB)
  6. Freedom to collect and disseminate information (Art. 41 of the CRB; Art. 10 ECHR)
  7. Freedom of assembly indoors without permission from the authorities (Art. 43 of the CRB, Art. 11 ECHR)
  8. The right to freedom and confidentiality of correspondence (Art. 34 CRB; cf. Art. 8 ECHR)
  9. Revocation of the right to freedom of association (art. 11 ECHR Art. 44 CRB).

In the unfortunate event that this bill passes under the law, it will impose, the already prohibited by the Constitution, obligatory state ideology. It will also violate separation between church and state, according to which the state cannot interfere in the internal life of churches and religious communities. Furthermore, in attempt to limit the freedom of the people, it will impose expressed governance and control of faith, beliefs and personal conviction; thus, endangering fundamental human rights and freedoms inherent to democracy.