Bulgarian lawmakers eased proposed restrictions on training, foreign funding, and missionary outreach by Protestants and other minority faiths following an evangelical outcry. Thousands of evangelicals prayed outside the Parliament in Sofia against the draft amendments to the Eastern European nation’s Religious Denomination Act, which were also condemned by leaders of its Eastern Orthodox majority as religious freedom violations. A revised proposal did away with measures that would threaten evangelicals’ rights to launch seminaries and host foreign preachers in the former Communist country.
Dozens killed in cathedral massacre
At least 40 people and two priests died in a November attack on the compound of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, a Catholic mission sheltering refugees in the largely Christian town of Alindao in the Central African Republic. The local bishop was gunned down as attackers looted the church and burned the surrounding camp. The attack was the latest violent clash between factions in the country, reportedly carried out by the Union pour la Paix en Centrafrique, whose fighters are mostly Fulani Muslims. A Catholic church in the capital, Bangui, lost 15 people in an attack earlier in 2018.
Noel Castellanos, who has led the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) for more than a decade, stepped down in November amid allegations of mismanagement by several former employees. Castellanos said he resigned “in part due to our inability to resolve the conflict with former staff,” who launched a website detailing a “toxic environment” under his leadership. The allegations publicly came to a head around ...1
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Gleanings: January/February 2019
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