HUNGARY: New Religion Law at Variance with OSCE Standards and the European Convention on Human Rights
By FOREF Europe
BUDAPEST, 25.09.2014 (FOREF) – The Forum for Religious Freedom Europe prepared following intervention for the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting and will present it on 30 September 2014 in Warsaw/Poland at the working session 13: Tolerance and non-discrimination II/ Intolerance against Christians and members of other religions. (See also a recent comment “A slippery Magyar slope” by The Economist. For Hungarian translation of the statement see below.)
That the Government of Hungary, and specifically the Minister of Human Capacities, place back on the official registry of incorporated churches included in the appendix of Act CCVI (206) of 2011 those churches deregistered unconstitutionally and in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights by Parliament in 2011. Hungary should honor its international legal commitment to the European Convention and abide by the Court’s decision.
That Hungary should modify its church law so that legal recognition of churches is not determined by 2/3 vote of Parliament, something criticized in both the European Court and the Hungarian Constitutional Court.
That participating States to assist Hungary to harmonize its laws in accordance with the Helsinki standards and international human rights law.
The Forum for Religious Freedom Europe (FOREF) is an independent, secular, civil society formation dedicated to defending the freedom of religion in accordance with international law. We wish to express our deep concern about policies of the government of Hungary that violate Human Dimension commitments undertaken by the participating States in the Helsinki Final Act and in the Madrid, Vienna, Copenhagen, and Maastricht documents. These policies have resulted in arbitrary discrimination against religious communities, and have given the state illegal and inappropriate power to interfere in religious life.