The Hungarian Evangelical Fellowship protests against new law on religions

3 08 2011

The Hungarian Parliament has passed a new law about the legal status of churches. This law distinguishes between churches in a discriminatory way and in disregard of the freedom and peaceful coexistence of religions. Hundreds of churches with valid licenses to practice are overnight deprived of their status. They can only change this decision and continue with their religious lives via an application submitted to a government minister; their fate will then depend on a two-thirds vote in Parliament. This same action is also required from future new religious groups who do not currently have a license to form a church.

The Hungarian Evangelical Fellowship protests against this law that was passed without any negotiations with the currently licensed churches, and was passed based on false motives and disrespecting even Parliament’s own norms. HEF commiserates with those who are restricted and offended by this discriminative law.

HEF was founded in the 1970s by pastors and congregations that were driven out of the Methodist church by that times’ anti-religious secular authorities. It will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its recognition this fall. Beside its church, HEF has founded several homeless shelters, various homes for elderly, provides child welfare services, and runs numerous other social, health and educational institutes that serve more than 6000 people.

HEF will strive to continue its spiritual life in its congregations, and to provide its social services legally through all its social, healthcare and educational institutions. HEF is also ready to provide help and encouragement to every other church at a disadvantage from this law.


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