The Scriptures are filled with witness of how the believers’ faith collides with the deception of ungodly leaders in government and society. One such example we find in Daniel 6.
The excellence in Daniel’s work for the king becomes a source of envy for his “co-workers” in ruling the regions of the empire. They realize that they will not be able to catch him in a work-related blunder so they decide that his faith will be the reason for his fall. The anti-religious freedom lobbyists go to the king and ask him to pass a law that will mandate that for 30 days no one will pray to any other god but him, the king. “Not a bad idea,” the ruler thought.
In 2010 I was hired as a legal consultant to represent a mayor of a small viallge in Southern Bulgaria. He was an evangelical Christian whose greatest issue was to have a road built for the people of his viallge. The village was in the mountains separated by 30 km (about 18 miles) from the rest of the world by a dirt road which went through private property; the owner of the property did not allow the villagers to use the path going through his piece of land.
This was the question asked of the Lord by one of the disciples. The actual question was asked by Judas (not Iscariot):
“But why, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” (John 14:22)
By Viktor Kostov
Published initially in Dnevnik, a daily Bulgarian newspaper, on April 25, 2011, after a violent attack on Jehova’s Witnesses building and assembly indoors in the Bulgarian city of Burgas
Link to video UNAVAILABLE
The attack on a religious minority in Burgas is not accidental. Violence against people who had gathered peacefully, without weapons, indoors, on their private property by hooligans whose supreme achievement is to mentally distinguish the colors of their favorite team and that of the opponent and to consider whether the match result is a loss or win.
When under the guise of its power the state violates its own laws the result is violence and division in society.
Burgas is one of the two major Bulgarian cities on the Black Sea coast. We were there by invitation of one of the pastors of one of the evangelical churches there. Here is an online video stream of the church service in Burgas (Blagovestie, or Gospel, with pastor Jivko Tonchev) on Feb. 27, 2011. I gave the sermon and the pastor asked the whole family to share about our ministry at the end of the service. We had a great time fellowshipping with the saints in the church and the pastor’s family.