Above: Explaining the threat of the new religious law amendments in a Bulgarian Christian Television talk show
 
Watch the show on Facebook here.

Update: Analysis of the bills in English added on Nov. 11, 2018. See links at the end.



During the first half of May
, the BSP (Bulgarian Socialist Party), GERB (Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria) and MRF (Movement for Rights and Freedoms) parliamentary groups, as a unified group of sponsors, and separately the coalition of nationalist parties, the United Patriots, submitted draft amendments to the Law on Religions.

In October, despite the clear, critical, and united opposition to the totalitarian bill by all faiths in the country, and by our human rights organization, the parliamentarian Commision on Religions and Human Rights (leading) voted for the bill without any hindrances, and the proposal was submitted for voting in entered the plenary session. On October 11 the National Assembly also voted "for" the bill at first reading, accepting the draft law in principle, without any particular debates.

On October 19, 2018, with a report by the leading committee, the two projects were brought together into a single one.

After November 16, 2018, when the extra-parliamentarian discussion on the proposal will be exhausted, there is a serious risk that the draft will be voted at the second reading and become enforceable legislation. Such will still be contrary to the Constitution, international law and the principles of freedom and democracy.

If the Parliament does not listen to the voice of reason, the higher laws guaranteeing the basic human rights, and the piling criticisms against the proposal, this totalitarian and anti-Christian law will come into effect.

We unambiguously and categorically oppose the introduction of tyrannical and totalitarian measures against fundamental and inalienable human rights and freedoms, aimed primarily at limiting religious belief and its public preaching, sharing, and practicing.

In order to prevent the passage of these unapologetically tyrannical bills into law, on May 28, 2018, together with the National Alliance "United God's Churches", we submitted a protest declaration to the National Assembly, whose text is fully published here. Twelve evangelical-Protestant faiths and religious communities joined the declaration. The declaration was slightly amended on 1.11.2018 to reflect current developments.

On October 18, we published an Analysis of draft laws to further critique the anti-democratic and anti-constitutional and anti-democratic nature of the project.

Tens of evangelical-protestant denominations are planning to exercise their right to a peaceful protest before parliament on Nov. 11, 2018, to express their disagreement with the anti-religious draft law. 



LINKS TO RELATED DOCUMENTS

UPDATED ON NOV. 11, 2018 WITH THE ANALYSIS OF THE BILLS ON AMENDING THE BULGARIAN RELIGIOUS LAW

Analysis of the Draft Law for Amendments on the Law on Religions, in English. Written on Oct. 18, 2018. Updated and translated in English on Nov. 11, 2018. (Please, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to let us know that you have downloaded and used this document.)

Link to the text of the Declaration in English, with the possibility to sign the petition in support. First drafted on May 28, 2018, updated on November 1, 2018.

Memorandum by Alliance Defending Freedom Europe submitted to the Bulgarian Parliament, regarding the proposed bill, explaining the European Convention and Cases Defending Freedom of Religion before the European Court of Human Rights

The proposed bill in English with highlights of problematic areas