Bulgaria: A Threat to Religious Freedom

Reports have emerged from Bulgaria concerning government plans that could have far-reaching implications for the small evangelical community in the country. The first draft of the ‘Religious Denomination Act’ was introduced to parliament in October last year and the potential restrictions on Gospel ministry quickly became apparent. One commentator explained that in its initial format existing theological seminaries were at risk of closing, many evangelical church pastors would no longer be able to conduct worship services, and the acceptance and use of foreign donations would be subject to government approval and limitations. One evangelical pastor stated that the law represented ‘a sad reminder of a bygone Communist past.’

Since its introduction, believers have been arguing for changes and lobbying their elected representatives.
Marches have been organized, prayer vigils have taken place, and international organizations have voiced their concern at the threat to religious liberty. At the time of writing, the government appears to have agreed to make a number of amendments to the first draft of the legislation, but it is unclear if theywill keep their promises, and what
form the final law will take. Please continue to remember our brothers and sisters in Bulgaria and pray that nothing will be allowed to hinder or prevent the work of the Gospel in their country.

Another Joyful Graduation

The end of November witnessed an important event in the life of the church in Baia de Cris. After three years of study students gathered for the graduation service of the SGA Mission School. It was a joyful time as all who met together thanked God for what had taken place and trusted Him for what He would do in the future.
From the beginning, Pastor David Pinte sought to give glory to God for what had happened. During the service students testified to God’s goodness and the benefits they had received from their time of study.
They spoke of the training adding to their knowledge, developing their character, and equipping them for service. It was encouraging to hear of how God is already using these men in Gospel ministry. One shared his plans to begin his first pastorate in the future.
Please continue to pray for all who graduated from this School. May God continue to use them in the Baia de Cris area.

Government Raids in Uzbekistan

Further reports have emerged of pressure being put on believers in Uzbekistan by Government officials. Churches have been raided in the capital Tashkent, with members of the local police, the secret police, the Justice Ministry and the military taking part. During the raids literature was confiscated and pastors, leaders and church members
detained in police stations where officials photographed and recorded the details of everyone who attended the meetings.

One church leader explained that the police threatened them and said: ‘We will come every Sunday and disrupt the church service every time until you give up and stop your activities.’

Please continue to remember our brothers and sisters in Uzbekistan and other Central Asian countries who face pressure from their governments.

Thankful for His Blessing

‘A weekend of warm fellowship, encouraging reports and faithful preaching’. That is how one attendee summed up our recent residential conference. Another person said it was the best conference he had been to. There was no doubt God answered prayer and we are thankful that we experienced His presence throughout the weekend.

The dates for the 2019 conference are 1st – 3rd of November.

Why don’t you put them in your diary and plan to be with us for the weekend or as a day visitor? We would love to see you there.