Attempts to halt construction of house of worship exposed as illegal in Bulgaria
SOFIA, Bulgaria— For nine years Jehovah’s Witnesses in Varna have been struggling to build a house of worship, known as a Kingdom Hall. After the construction project had been stopped by order of the Mayor of Varna, Mr. Kiril Yordanov, for more than three and a half years, the Varna Administrative Court ruled on December 7, 2010, that the refusal by the Mayor to allow Jehovah’s Witnesses to continue the construction was illegal as it violated Bulgarian legislation. This favorable decision is a step forward in overcoming the obstacles to the building of a Kingdom Hall for the more than 400 Jehovah’s Witnesses and supporters in Varna.
According to local attorney Mr. Atanas Krusteff, this decision by the court in Varna will serve as a deterrent to similar discrimination in the future and will help to promote religious tolerance in Bulgaria. Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.”
Worldwide, there are more than 18 million of Jehovah’s Witnesses and associates who meet together for worship. Throughout Europe, some 2 million Jehovah’s Witnesses have established the legal right to carry on their religious activities. In Bulgaria, the nearly 4,000 Witnesses and supporters live according to Christian standards and contribute to the well-being of the communities in which they live.
Contact in Europe: European Association of Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses
Telephone +32 2 782 0015
Contact in the United States: Office of Public Information
Telephone +1 718 560 5600
Contact in Bulgaria: Hristo Nikolov
Telephone +359 879 001 845
Article source: JW Media