After listening to objections about a controversial bill aimed at shutting down evangelical churches and other minority faiths, the Bulgarian Parliament has decided to revise it, thus delaying any vote on the legislation.
Some evangelical Christians and other faiths say the bill in its current form would severely limit religious freedom in Eastern Europe.
The bill favors the majority of Eastern Orthodox and Muslim religions. But leaders of all faiths, even those that it favored, have been standing against the bill.
One evangelical spokesperson spoke to CBN News from Bulgaria's capital of Sofia, explaining that the threat has brought all members of the body of Christ together.
Iva Tsvetkova of Mission Possible says, "We as a Christian community all over the country did prayer rallies and peaceful protests... and in my opinion right now the church in Bulgaria is more united than ever before."
The evangelical church in Bulgaria is very small, representing less than one percent of the population.
The original bill favored Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Islam while putting heavy burdens on others. For example:
- Only Eastern Orthodox believers and Muslims would be allowed to train clergy and run schools.
- All other Bulgarian ministers would lose legal status
- State control would be imposed on messages and sermons
According to media outlets, the revised bill was tabled on Friday. A date for debate and voting on the measure has not been released.