Saturday, January 07, 2012

82 Religious Groups Apply To Hungarian Parliament For Recognition Under New Law

As previously reported, Hungary's Parliament last month passed a new Law on Churches that requires all but 14 traditional religious faiths to apply to Parliament for registration. AP reports that as of Friday, 82 churches, congregations and religious groups have applied for official recognition. Each group will need to be approved by a two-thirds vote of Parliament in order to be able to retain special tax, labor and other privileges.  Countering claims that the new law infringes religious rights (see prior posting), a Justice Ministry spokesman last month said: "Neither communities nor individuals are under any constraints in the practice of their religion in Hungary. The real objective of this law is to regularize the system of state subsidies and tax benefits, which was being abused."