US State Department Gives Mixed Review Of Religious Freedom In Bulgaria

October 27, 2009

Author: Clive Leviev-Sawyer

Source: The Sofia Echo

ntolerance by Bulgarian local authorities of non-Orthodox Christian religious groups and anti-Semitic messages by Volen Siderov’s Ataka party are among issues raised in the US state department’s annual International Religious Freedom Report, released on October 26 2009.
The report said that Bulgaria’s constitution provides for freedom of religion and prohibits religious discrimination but designates Eastern Orthodox Christianity as the "traditional" religion.
"Laws executing these provisions are ambiguous, giving scope to arbitrary decisions with respect to public practice of religion by unregistered groups," the report said.
The Government generally respected the religious freedom of registered religious groups, according to the report.
There were some concerns regarding government registration of religious groups and interference with religious disputes. There were also continuing reports of intolerance from local authorities during the reporting period, it said.