The Bulgarian Orthodox Church expressed outrage on Monday over an EU treaty to combat violence against women, saying the treaty’s language imposes ungodly transgender ideology on Bulgaria.
The Church’s holy synod, its main executive body, urged Bulgaria’s lawmakers reject the treaty, known as the Council of Europe Convention or the Istanbul Convention, because it promoted a definition of gender and masculinity contrary to biblical teaching, according to Reuters.
The treaty is meant to afford stronger protections for women in the EU against domestic and gender-based violence. The synod warned that ratifying the treaty would force an unfamiliar and anti-Christian culture and ideology on the Bulgarian people, which would lead to “moral decay.”
“It raises concerns about the future of the European Christian civilization because it contains a new understanding of man – man as an absolute master, the man without God who follows his desires and passions to such an extent that he can even determine his gender,” the Church’s holy synod said, according to Reuters.
The text of the treaty does not specifically mention transgenders or otherwise LGBT individuals, but does define gender as “socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for women and men,” as opposed to objective, biological factors that differentiate men from women. The website for the treaty clarifies the intent of using such language in its Convention in Brief section, saying that the convention recognizes other victims of domestic violence, such as “gay men, transgender men or men that do not conform to what society considers to constitute appropriate behaviour.”
The treaty’s website says that individual countries may choose whether to extend the treaty’s protections to gay and transgender men, but that applying the aforementioned definition of gender to those groups was as important as empowering women against domestic violence.
“The consequences of denying biblical truths are tragic and we are witnessing them in many societies where ‘gender’ ideology has long been a state policy,” the holy synod added.
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