Bulgarian Justice Ministry Proposes Ban on Foreign Financing of Religious Groups

Country: Bulgaria

Date of incident: April 4, 2017

Category: Government Restrictions

Attack against: Faith

Area of case: Governmental

The Justice Ministry of Bulgaria has presented a draft bill that would ban foreign countries from financing religious groups in the country, unless an inter-state treaty is in effect. The bill would require that foreign citizens serving as religious workers be fluent in Bulgarian and that no Bulgarian citizen can do the work. This could affect Roman Catholic and Protestant churches, as well as Islam and Judaism.

Foreign citizens would be allowed to donate money to registered religious groups in Bulgaria if they are not included in the list of persons suspected of terrorism. The bill also proposes banning political parties donating to religious denominations and would limit anonymous donations to religious groups to no more than 1000 leva (about 511 euro). Religious organizations would be required to keep detailed records of donations and submit annual reports. Source: Independent Balkan News Agency