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Church, State, and Democracy in Expanding Europe$
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Lavinia Stan and Lucian Turcescu

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195337105

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195337105.001.0001

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(p.17) 2 Bulgaria
Church, State, and Democracy in Expanding Europe

Lavinia Stan

Lucian Turcescu

Oxford University Press

During the last two decades post-communist Bulgaria has greatly relaxed state control over religious activities; but some of its legislative provisions still do not have counterparts in other new European Union member states. The dominant religion alone is recognized as traditional, only the canonical Orthodox Church is deemed a legal person ex lege, political parties built on religious lines are prohibited, splinter religious groups are prohibited from using the name or property of already registered denominations while persons who practice publicly on behalf of an unregistered religious group can incur large fines. Religious denominations have taken a traditional and conservative stand relative to sexuality, abortion, homosexuality, and same-sex marriages, without being able to limit Bulgaria's rather permissive abortion policy.

Keywords:   Bulgaria, Orthodox Church, post-communist Bulgaria, religion, state control

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