Statement by the Hungarian Society of Krishna-consciousness concerning the new legislation about churches

5 08 2011

The Hungarian Society of Krishna-consciousness (MKTHK), representing the world religion of Hinduism receives the new legislation in Hungary on churches with mixed feelings

We acknowledge with satisfaction that the new legislation does not restrict freedom of conscience and religion and, as against previous drafts, does not set up categories of registered churches, thus does not discriminate among citizens based on their creeds.

Our religious community considers it a step forward that the new law defines what is a religion, thus, it makes possible to distingish bona fide religious activities from others.

We deem the criteria for registration acceptable and reasonable and we welcome the possibility that communities that meet the said criteria can apply for registration.

At the same time, we were very surprised to find that no oriental world religions were included in the initial list of registered churches, not to speak of communities that have practiced sincere religious activities as well as done very valuable services to the Hungarian society during the last few decades.

We also object to the stipulation that deliberation whether a religious community can be accepted as a church is left to the Parliament rather than an independent court. In this way, political interests will determine which community will be accepted rather than their actual religious activities and community work. We see this element of the law as a violation of the principle of the ideological neutrality of the state.

As the representative of the Hindu tradition that goes back to millenia, the Hungarian Society of Krishna-consciousness intends to keep equal distance from all political interests, but is ready to cooperate with all organizations, parties or individuals who share our views on the importance of the sanctity of life, religious piety, non-violence and moderation.

Our community expects the government and Parliament of Hungary to cooperate and make possible that we can continue our religious activities in our temples and centers as a registered church just like we have done since 1989 and that we will enjoy continued support for our educational, environmental projects, our drug prevention and mental
hygiene programs and last, but not least, for our charity project feeding hundreds of thousands of people every year.

source: ISKCON Hungary

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