For Immediate Release
April 21, 2011
Violent mob attacks Jehovah’s Witnesses in Bulgaria during annual observance of Christ’s death
BURGAS, Bulgaria—On Sunday, April 17, 2011, at 7:30 pm, Jehovah’s Witnesses in the city of Burgas were peacefully gathered at their Kingdom Hall for the annual commemoration of the death of Jesus Christ. About 20 minutes before the program was to begin, an angry mob of about 60 men, some waving flags of the political party VMRO, gathered in front of the Kingdom Hall. The mob threw large stones at the Witnesses who were at the entrance of the building. After that, the mob stormed the door.
The Witnesses called the police immediately, but they were slow to respond. At the time of the attack, more than 100 people were inside the hall, including women, children and elderly ones. Injuries resulted from the attack, and five victims were taken to the hospital by ambulance with severe injuries, including concussions.
Representatives of the political party VMRO have disrupted the peaceful meetings of Jehovah’s Witnesses on several occasions in the past and have repeatedly used the media to circulate defamatory lies about the Witnesses. Criminal complaints against this political party have been filed on numerous occasions, but the attacks have continued. Now, the international community is watching to see how the authorities of the Bulgarian government will react to these lawless and criminal acts.
In Bulgaria last year nearly 4,000 attended the Witnesses’ annual commemoration of Christ’s death. Worldwide there are over 7.5 million Jehovah’s Witnesses who peacefully meet together for worship.
in Bulgaria: Hristo Nikolov Telephone +359 879 001 845
in Europe: European Association of Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses Telephone +32 2 782 0015
in United States: Office of Public Information Telephone +1 718 560 5600