MINELRES: More on Bulgarian denomination law

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.delfi.lv
Fri Jan 17 10:33:42 2003

Original sender: Viktor Kostov <vikkostov@hotmail.com>

>From the moderator: For the previous postings on the matter, see 

Dear Sirs/Madams of the Bulgarian Religious Freedom Group,

I read your breaking news buletin announcing the arrival of the new
religious law and with it - of religious freedom - in Bulgaria.  Your
view is either due to little understanding of the actual meaning of
religious liberty and the process of adopting this law, or you simply
want to disseminate information that counters the rightful strong
crticism of the law.

We strongly disagree with your statement that the new religious law in
Bulgaria, called "Law on the Religious Confessions" gurantees religious
liberty for all in the nation.  For further detail visit our web site at
http://freedom1.hit.bg to read 3 ciritical reports of the draft law
published on Dec. 13, 2002, just before that draft was voted into a law.
Due to the insignificant differences between the draft and the actual
law, the reports, although based on the text of the draft, are relevant
for the law itself.

Although advocate groups may differ in their angle of viewing a crisis,
your take on the religious law has a flavor of serving not the interests
of religious freedom but is aimed at keeping the unfortunate status quo
of state-dominated religious life in the country.

We support the opinions of other religious freedom advocates in seeing
this new law as an insuficient and incapable tool for the guarantee of
religious freedom in Bulgaria.  Some privisions and the spirit of the
law violate principles of religiuos liberty found in the constitution
and the European Convention for Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Viktor Kostov
religious freedom lawyer, missionary
Center for Religious Freedom
a projet of Door of Hope Int'l
PO Box 81
Sofia 1164, Bulgaria