Defaming religious beliefs: Tonchev


In Tonchev and Others v Bulgaria [2022] ECHR 1072 [in French], the applicants were ministers of  Evangelical Churches in Burgas and Evangelical religious associations based in Burgas. They complained that information about their religion circulated to schools in Burgas in 2008 by the city’s municipal authorities was hostile and defamatory.

Before the Bulgarian courts, they alleged, in particular, that a letter of 9 April 2008 about them which had been circulated by the municipal administration of Burgas contained defamatory claims and judgments about their beliefs and that its distribution among schools had infringed their freedom of religion and breached the principle of separation of Church and State, the State’s duty of neutrality and the principle of equal treatment of religions. Continue reading