Forum18 yesterday reported on the dispute in Bulgaria between two wings of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. The "Alternative Synod" was created by members who claimed that Patriarch Maksim was improperly elected to head the Church in 1971. Now two Alternative Synod leaders are being prosecuted for claiming to be Orthodox bishops, despite their lawyer's claim that the charges violate required separation of church and state in the country. Article 274, part 1, of the Criminal Code, punishes by large administrative fines or up to one year in prison anyone who is found to be "unwarrantedly committing an act within the scope of the office of an official which he does not occupy." Forum 18 says the cases were brought at the instigation of the Bulgaria's National Security Service. The Patriarchate remains the wing recognized by the rest of the Orthodox world and favored by government officials. Officials say that Bulgaria's 2002 religion law was specifically aimed at "reuniting" the divided Orthodox Church.