Officials of Bulgaria have barred the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the controversial founder of the Unification Church, from entering the country.
The Religion News Service reported that Christian groups and one of Bulgaria’s nationalist political parties protested the planned visit by Moon to a gathering of Unification members at a hotel in Sofia, the nation’s capital.
The Bulgarian Ministry of the Interior issued a statement insisting that “the presence of Sun Myung Moon in Bulgaria is undesirable.” The nation, which officially recognizes the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, requires all religious groups to seek permission to practice in the country.
Twice in the 1990s, the government denied registration to Unification members.
Moon claims to be the messiah sent to complete the failed mission of Jesus and seeks to unite all religions and governments under his leadership.