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The New Bulgarian Religious Law: Restrictive and Discriminatory

The New Bulgarian Religious Law: Restrictive and Discriminatory I. INTRODUCTION Religious freedom deteriorated in a number of Eastern European countries after the ini- tial democratic euphoria following the fall of communism. In several of them, attempts were made to pass restrictive and discriminatory laws regulating church - state relations. Among these countries were Russia, Moldova, Macedonian, Hungary, Romania, Belarus and Bulgaria. Not all of these attempts have been successful. In Romania, at the beginning of 2000 the government, after national and international pressure, withdrew the discrimi- natory draft Law on the General Status of Religious Denominations that had been sent to parliament for debate in 1999. In Macedonia, the Constitutional Court invalidated several articles of the discriminatory law on Religious Communities and Religious Groups as from 1997, making it thereby to a great extent inoperative. However, in several other cases the attempts were successful. In September 1997, Russia passed its Law on the Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations, dis- tinguishing and discriminating between the traditional and the new religious groups. In November 2002, Belarus adopted amendments to its Law on Religious Freedom, Reli- gious Denominations and Religious Organizations, which distinguished and discrirlli- nated between religious communities and religious alliances. Religious communities, as opposed to religious http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online Brill

The New Bulgarian Religious Law: Restrictive and Discriminatory

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
eISSN
2211-6117
DOI
10.1163/221161103X00300
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

I. INTRODUCTION Religious freedom deteriorated in a number of Eastern European countries after the ini- tial democratic euphoria following the fall of communism. In several of them, attempts were made to pass restrictive and discriminatory laws regulating church - state relations. Among these countries were Russia, Moldova, Macedonian, Hungary, Romania, Belarus and Bulgaria. Not all of these attempts have been successful. In Romania, at the beginning of 2000 the government, after national and international pressure, withdrew the discrimi- natory draft Law on the General Status of Religious Denominations that had been sent to parliament for debate in 1999. In Macedonia, the Constitutional Court invalidated several articles of the discriminatory law on Religious Communities and Religious Groups as from 1997, making it thereby to a great extent inoperative. However, in several other cases the attempts were successful. In September 1997, Russia passed its Law on the Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations, dis- tinguishing and discriminating between the traditional and the new religious groups. In November 2002, Belarus adopted amendments to its Law on Religious Freedom, Reli- gious Denominations and Religious Organizations, which distinguished and discrirlli- nated between religious communities and religious alliances. Religious communities, as opposed to religious

Journal

European Yearbook of Minority Issues OnlineBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2002

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