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Evangelical Christians Praying to Dodge a Serious Threat in Bulgaria

Evangelical Christians Praying to Dodge a Serious Threat in Bulgaria Read Transcript

- Iva Tsetkova is with thegroup Mission Impossible.

She joins us now from just outside

Bugaria's capital, Sofia, so Iva,

what is the purpose of this law?

- So the new law is, Iquote, is supposedly, "aiming

"to limit and filter attemptsfor radical influence."

But actually, it would end up reinforcing

the power of the two majority religions;

Eastern Europe OrthodoxChristianity and Islam.

- Who is supporting this?

- There were two bills that were submitted

in Parliament regardingBulgaria's religious law.

The first one was put forward by

the three largest political parties.

One that is in power,and two in opposition.

While the second bill was coined by

the United Patriots,and this is an alliance

of nationalistic groups participating

in the country's Government.

So all of the partiespresented in the government

of Bulgaria have voted for it.

On the first reading a few weeks ago.

- Why does it favor onlyEastern Orthodox and Islam?

- So the official version is, because

the Eastern Orthodox and Islam

are groups that represent more than 1%

of the population of the country.

And the other religious groups

have less than 1%.

- If the law passes, whatwill happen to evangelicals?

- The truth is that no faith

community in Bulgariasupports the proposals,

even the Orthodox Christians and Islam.

So if the bill is passed,evangelical Christians

and other groups would not be allowed

to have foreign ministers leading their

religious services, evangelical Christians

would not be able to run school

and no religious activities can take place

outside of buildings designated for them

and the gospel could be hindered.

Also, most of the protestant churches

must be shut down because they

represent less than 1% of the population.

- This would evenrestrict sermons, correct?

- Yes, yes, exactly.

- How are evangelicals andother religious minorities

fighting this law?

- So after the first bill was in,

we had started the petitionagainst these bills.

Also the leaders of the major protestant

denominations have sent a declaration

to the Prime Ministerand the whole government

and in the last couple of weeks,

we as a Christian community,all over the country

did prayer rallies and peaceful protests

that drew hundreds of people, literally

hundreds of people, unitedin the name of Jesus.

Praying for nation of Bulgaria,

marching on the streets, blessing the land

and lifting up in Jesus.

And in my opinion, rightnow, the church of Bulgaria

is more united than ever before.

And no matter what isgoing to happen on Friday,

we will stand firm.

- What is the likelihoodthat this will pass?

- Let's say I do believethat God has the final word.

He is the one we trust, and we wait for.

So I would say with God,everything is possible.

- You spoke of the churchuniting and protesting.

What's been the responseto those protests, if any?

- We didn't have anyresponse from the media,

from the official media liketelevision or even press,

or online newspapers or whatever,

but I do know that thereis a group in government,

a group from our churches, representatives

of the church in Bulgaria that are sitting

right now on the table with the people

from the government andtalking on these bills.

- How can the global church help?

- No matter if we areheard by the government,

I know that our voice is heard in heaven.

- Absolutely.

How can the global church help?

- I would like to ask you,and to ask the church urgently

to pray and to encourage other people

to pray to pass and to intercede

and this new bill will notpass in the Parliament.

You can also contact the Bulgarian embassy

wherever you are in your nation

and write a short letter or email

explaining the main problemsin the proposed legislation.

- Iva Tsetkova with Mission Impossible,

thank you so much for your time.

We'll be praying for you indeed.

- Thank you, thank you.


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