Bulgarian Justice Ministry proposes banning foreign countries from financing religious groups

The Justice Ministry of Bulgaria, which currently is being run by a caretaker cabinet pending the formation of an elected government, has published a draft bill that would ban foreign countries from financing religious groups in the country.

The only exception would be if an inter-state treaty has been signed, according to the draft bill.

Foreign citizens would be allowed to donate money to registered religious groups in Bulgaria only provided that they are not included in the list of persons suspected of terrorism.

The bill also proposes banning political parties donating to religious denominations and to limit anonymous donations to religious groups to no more than 1000 leva (about 511 euro).

Religious organisations would be required to keep a register of donations. Religious groups would have to submit an annual financial report for the previous calendar year. This should include information about income, expenses, assets acquired free of charge, and the names of donors.

(Photo, of a mosque in the Bulgarian town of Assenovgrad: (c) Clive Leviev-Sawyer)

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