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Sofia Pride: Church should reject calls for violence

BY NATASHA BARSOTTI – Organizers of the upcoming Pride parade in Sofia, Bulgaria, are calling on the Orthodox Church to dissociate itself from one of its priest’s calls for violence against participants, the Sofia News Agency says.

Earlier this month, Father Evgeniy Yanakiev reportedly called for stones to be thrown at people in the Sofia Pride parade, the event’s fifth installment, scheduled for June 30. But the Orthodox Church has not condemned Yanakiev’s statements; instead, it called homosexuality an “unnatural passion that undoubtedly harms the personality, the family and the society,” the news agency reports, quoting a statement issued by the Holy Synod. Saying the event is “immoral,” church spokespeople called on parents and teachers to prevent children from taking part in, or even witnessing, the parade.

A number of European governments, the US and several NGOs have, however, thrown their support behind Sofia Pride.

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