Monday, February 25, 2019

European Court: Romania's Conviction of Dismissed Clergy For Conducting Services Violated Religious Protections

Law & Religion UK reports at length on the decision of the European Court of Human Rights  In Tothpal and Szabo v Romania, (ECHR, Feb. 19, 2019) (full text of opinion in French).  In the case, the Court held that Romania had violated Art. 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights (freedom of thought, conscience and religion) when it convicted a Lutheran pastor and a Reformed Church minister of acting as clerics without authorization of their respective churches.  In each case, the clergyman had been dismissed from his position with his congregation, but continued to conduct religious services for some of the congregation members who disagreed with their dismissals.  The Court issued an English language press release summarizing the decision.