Hungarian Constitutional Changes Threaten its Religious Freedom

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (Worthy News)-- The Hungarian government has been criticized for changes to the country’s constitution that threaten religious freedoms and other rights.

Constitutional amendments adopted by the government in March were the latest in a series of changes described by Human Rights Watch (HRW) as “problematic”. For example, a new law granted state recognition to only 14 religious groups while refusing to recognize the rest, resulting in the loss of official status for more than 300 Protestant sects and minor Catholic religious orders.

Although the Hungarian Constitutional Court struck down some of the laws introduced by the government, the latest amendments reintroduced the same laws by changing the constitution and canceling the Constitutional Court’s power to overrule those changes.

In response, thousands of Hungarians staged a demonstration in front of the presidential palace while opposition leaders hung black flags from the windows of parliament to mourn the end of Hungarian democracy.

HRW has called for the EU to consider suspending Hungary’s voting rights and a spokesman for the European Commission said it won't rule out sanctions to ensure that Hungary complies with EU law.

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2 thoughts on “Hungarian Constitutional Changes Threaten its Religious Freedom

  1. Not true. It only cuts government funding to certain sects. As it ought! Those sects can practice all they like. Unfortunately, in some cases.

  2. This report is slightly inaccurate. While certain legitimate religious groups have been "de-recognised", the whole issue is not about whether these remain legitimate religious groups, but rather whether they get state funding or not. Many of the "groups" were nothing more than businesses posing as religions. The problem is rather how can legitimate religions get tax breaks once they've lost them. Hope this helps!

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