BULGARIA: Orthodox Church Priest Issues Call For Violence At Sofia Pride Parade
All Out sends us an urgent press release:
On Saturday, June 30th, the Fifth Ever Sofia Pride Parade Saturday is scheduled to take place in Bulgaria's capital city. Last year, marchers in the Sofia Pride Parade were brutally attacked and beaten in the street when walking home after the Parade. The first Pride Parade in 2008 was firebombed with Molotov cocktails by skinheads and members of an extreme right wing party. This year, these same extremists - including the Bulgarian National Union - have now been given a permit to hold a public event -- ostensibly a "concert" but in reality a anti-Pride gathering -- just a few hours before the Sofia Pride Parade.All Out has posted a petition to Sofia's mayor demanding that he revoke the permit for the anti-gay parade.
Father Evgenii Yanakiev, a local priest in the Orthodox Church, advised people to "throw stones" at the Pride participants and called for politicians who support the march to be “drowned in the sea with millstones tied around their necks”. While the march itself will have police present, an angry stirred-up mob of right wing extremists threatens to turn the day into a violence-filled free-for-all. Nothing prevents the mob from blocking people traveling to the Parade or following them home. The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, the Sofia Pride Committee, and other human rights activists are asking the Bulgarian Orthodox Church to make an official statement condemning these calls for violence and officially distancing the Church from these statements.