Payday loansPayday Loans

Recent News

  • Myanmar Politician Preparing to Seek Legal Limits on Interfaith, Interethnic Marriage

  • Call for Religious Leaders to Teach Acceptance in Malaysia

  • Attacks on religion, liberty

  • Can Muslim lands learn to tolerate Christianity?

  • China vents anger over Dalai Lama's planned Norway visit

  • Militia attack Muslims in Central African Republic's capital

  • Egypt’s new charter stronger on personal freedoms

  • Pussy Riot members freed from prison

  • Frank Wolf, champion of religious freedom, will end congressional career

  • A Political Deal in a Deeply Divided Tunisia as Islamists Agree to Yield Power

  • Egyptian Christians Bridle at Prison Terms for Copts Only in Fatal Clash

  • The Central African Republic descending into ‘complete chaos’

  • French burqa ban challenged in top European court

  • Sharia in Sudan v. women and religious freedom

  • China aims to harness religious beliefs to promote harmony

  • Afghanistan Considers Reinstating Public Stoning for Adultery

  • Sunnis Close Baghdad Mosques to Challenge Religious Attacks

  • Modi campaign stirs religious divide in India's heartland

  • Aung San Suu Kyi, and Myanmar, faces an uncertain future

  • Syrian Christians flee persecution as Patriarch urges them to stay in war-torn country

  • Central African Republic on the verge of genocide, France warns UN

  • Myanmar rejects U.N. resolution on Rohingya Muslims

  • How the State Department Is Getting Religion

  • UN to Myanmar: Make Rohingya Muslims citizens

  • Our Failed Religious Freedom Policy

  • Turkey drops a screen over Christianity

  • Opinion: The oppression of Bahais continues in Iran

  • TAJIKISTAN: "The Law demands that all religious literature be checked by the State"

  • Sudan’s Enduring Question: The Role of Shari'ah in the Constitution and Law

  • The Role of the Hijab Is Becoming a National Problem for Russia

  • For Indian Christian leader, Narendra Modi is a threat to religious freedom

  • Commentary: The two faces of India

  • With 'loving kindness', Myanmar frees 69 political prisoners

  • New U.N. Rights Council Members Are Elected

  • Turkish court lifts headscarf ban for attorneys

  • Egypt's Christians close ranks as kidnappings spike

  • Hundreds of Buddhists in Myanmar protest Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s upcoming visit

  • Frank Wolf Renews Calls for Release of U.S. Pastor from Iranian Prison

  • Many Sunnis and Shias Worry About Religious Conflict

  • China paper blames blind faith of “uncultured” Uighur youth for Xinjiang unrest

  • Turkey's Alevis protest for greater freedoms

  • KAZAKHSTAN: "He was told not to sell religious literature"

  • Myanmar violence between Buddhists, Muslims threatens reforms

  • UZBEKISTAN: Baptist camp ordered seized, Protestant pressured to inform

  • Tibetans Call China’s Policies at Tourist Spot Tacit but Stifling

  • Violence against Muslims threatening Myanmar reforms: U.N. envoy

  • Putin says unnamed foreign foes use radical Islam to weaken Russia

  • Malaysia’s curbs on use of the term ‘Allah’ hurting its moderate Muslim image

  • Vietnamese Court Orders Two Parishioners of Vinh Diocese Jailed

  • Opinion:State Department stays mute on persecuted religious minorities worldwide

  • Turkey, Religious Freedom and the Current State of Christian-Muslim Dialogue (1895)

  • In Nigeria, Wedlock Seen as Terror Fix

  • Northern Iraq no longer safe for Christians

  • Clerics call on UN military force to secure Central African Republic

  • EU condemns Egypt church violence, urges end to religion-based attacks

  • Young Turkish Jews emigrating due to anti-Semitism, tensions with Israel

  • Egypt orders trial of four policemen over killing of Islamist detainees

  • Passion of Pakistani Sufis infuriates Taliban

  • Egyptian writer may face jail for accusations of defaming religion

  • UN expert hails “key breakthrough for religious freedom reached in Cyprus”

  • Kenneth Bae's mother tells of heartbreak after seeing, leaving imprisoned son

  • Conviction of Christians for Murder of Hindu Leader in India Biased, Unfounded, Attorneys Say

  • Opera Fights Hungary’s Rising Anti-Semitism

  • Buddhists and Christians denounce Hanoi for using law to control religions

  • ARMENIA: "Imprisoned conscientious objectors should be immediately and unconditionally released"

  • Bombs planted in confessional box of Syrian church

  • French court upholds Scientology fraud conviction

  • Suzan Johnson Cook to resign as religious freedom ambassador

  • BELARUS: Why is Catholic priest still detained by KGB secret police?

  • Q&A: What Court Decision on Use of ‘Allah’ Means for Malaysia

  • The Surprising Story Of 'Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an'

  • Religious tension runs deep for Vietnam’s minorities

  • Malala Yousafzai wins EU's Sakharov human rights prize

  • Religious liberty takes center stage in diplomacy with Iran

  • Turban row: Sikh NGO wins case against France at UN

  • Vietnam Lets Churches Thrive, but Keeps Control

  • KAZAKHSTAN: Pastor to be transferred from prison to house arrest

  • Kenya Salvation Army Church Torched; Four Killed

  • Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng gets U.S. platform to promote human rights

  • Orthodox leader calls for end Christians' persecution

  • Jewish groups slam Council of Europe Assembly resolution on circumcision

  • Opinion: Quebec’s coup d’etat against religious freedom

  • Small town, big impact: Supreme Court case could define religion’s role in public

  • European council passes anti-ritual circumcision resolution

  • Council of Muftis complain to U.S. reps about disrespect for Muslims in Russia

  • Woman, 94, killed as Buddhist rioters attack Muslim villages in western Myanmar

  • RUSSIA: What's wrong with "extremist" Koran translation?

  • Persecution against Christians increases in many parts of the world

  • How Promotion of Religious Freedom Can Help Prevent Extreme Violence

  • RUSSIA: Muslims rush to challenge Koran "extremism" ruling

  • Judge Ordered Sikh to Remove 'That Rag' from Head, Says ACLU

  • Donate by Paypal or Credit Card

    Solution Graphics

    Click Amazon to Help ICRF

    amzn-ba100x70.gif (2357 bytes)

    Help ICRF with your donation

    Follow ICRF on Twitter

    Twitter Image

    Like Us on Facebook

    Facebook Image
    Bulgaria
    Friday, 09 September 2011 21:41
    Religious Freedom Ranking:
    2 out of 5 stars: Poor

    BulgariaBulgaria has progressively transitioned into a democracy since the collapse of its Communist government in 1991. Although it joined the European Union in 2007, the following year the EU announced it was suspending aid because of crime and corruption within the country.

    Bulgaria has a population of 7.6 million. Orthodox Christians account for 85 percent of the population. Thirteen percent of the population is Muslim; the majority practice Hanafi Sunni Islam. Catholics, Armenian Christians, Jews, Evangelical Protestants and other minority religions constitute less than five percent of the population. There are 107 registered religious groups in the country in addition to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.


    While the Constitution of Bulgaria provides for freedom of conscience and religion, it also designates the Eastern Orthodox Church as the "traditional" religion and stipulates that "legal status and questions concerning the material support, the right of inner structure and self-government of different religious communities are regulated by law." (Article 53 p.3). The 2002 Denominations Act allows private religious exercise only if members of the religious community are the only people present. Public religious exercise is permitted only if it is open to people not within the religious community.

    There are concerns that the government does not proactively prevent religious discrimination within the society. There are reports of intolerance from police and local authorities. Furthermore, of the $1.8 million allocated to registered religious groups, $1.4 million is allocated to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.


    The government of Bulgaria requires that all organizations with a religious element must register in court. The Council of Ministers, formerly responsible for the registration process, gives “expert opinions” on the groups registering if the court requests help. Traditional religious organizations which are registered with the government enjoy considerable latitude. The Orthodox Church and the Muslim and Jewish communities receive government subsidies. Religious properties nationalized by the Communist regime have been returned to their former owners. Most registered groups have been able to hold services and provide private instruction without restriction. A school for imams, an Islamic cultural center, university theological facilities and religious primary schools operate freely. Bibles and religious materials printed in Bulgarian are freely imported and printed. Muslim, Jewish and Catholic publications are published on a regular basis.


    The situation for the Muslim and Orthodox communities has been complicated by divisions. In 1992, the Orthodox Church experienced a schism. In 1996, an alternative patriarch was elected. The Supreme Court ruled this election illegal and the government has refused to regard recognition to this patriarch. The 2002 Denominations Act designates the Metropolitan of Sofia as the Orthodox Church’s patriarch. A similar situation has occurred in the Muslim community. In 2008 Mustafa Alish Hadji was elected Chief Mufti, but Nedim Gendzhev appealed the elections alleging Hadji has forged documents. In 2009 the court ruled in Gendzhev’s favor and in 2010 the Supreme Court of Cassation rejected an appeal filed by Hadji. The government now recognizes Nedim Gendzhev as Chief Mufti and head of the Supreme Theological Council.

    Several non-Orthodox groups have continued to complain of incidences of harassment and discrimination by government authorities. The 2002 Denominations Act states that registered groups may have local branches. Although the Jehovah’s Witnesses are registered they have received harassment from local authorities. In 2009 the police disrupted a gathering of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Sandanski requesting proof of local registration.


    Jehovah’s Witnesses and Muslims have also complained about difficulty in obtaining construction permits for new churches.


    The Jewish community has reported an increasing number of anti-Semitic incidents. In 2010 a memorial to Russian Soldiers in World War II was painted with swastikas on May 9, and on the 65th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust. Schools have also been vandalized and in 2009 vandals threw several molotov cocktails at a synagogue in Burgas.The Muslim community has also reported an increase in vandalism. For example, in 2010 a mosque in Blagoevgrad was painted with swastikas. The Unification Church has also been harassed. Police are reported to routinely enter centers to conduct searches. Policemen have assaulted members, confiscated computers and mailing lists, taken money and threatened families. Because the church has no legal status, it has no legal power to redress these grievances.


    The Directorate of Religious Affairs has hired Boncho Asenov, a former security official of the Communist government, who participated in repressive activities against ethnic Turks and religious minorities.


    2010 US State Department International Religious Freedom Report on Bulgaria

    Bulgaria - New World Encyclopedia


    Bulgaria Country Profile- BBC News

    Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 June 2012 14:07