Hungary strips JW's of its legal status as a religious organization

by Honesty 16 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Honesty

    Hungary has introduced a new law governing the registration of religious groups that critics charge discriminates against minority faiths, and strips St Margaret's Anglican Church in Budapest of its status as a religious organisation.

    On 14 July the Hungarian Parliament adopted "The Right to Freedom of Conscience and Religion and on the Status of Churches, Religions and Religious Communities" Law, by a vote of 254 in favour to 43 opposed.

    Introduced on 10 June in Parliament, the proposed legislation would have created three tiers of religious groups, with differing authorities to conduct worship and engage in charitable activities under Hungarian law. Human Rights activists, NGOs and a number of religious leaders objected, arguing, in the words of the Washington think-tank, the Institute on Religion and Public Policy, the bill gave Hungary "a tiered system offering an inferior religious status to minority faiths that violates the right to religious freedom and the right to be free from religious discrimination."

    On 12 July the governing Fidesz party with their coalition allies the Christian Democrats amended the bill, eliminating the tier system and recognising 14 religious organisations as Churches. Hungary's 348 other faiths and denominations were stripped of their legal status as religious organisations and lost their tax exempt status and entitlements to state subsidies.

    The 14 denominations that were allowed to retain their registration were the Roman and Greek Catholic Churches, the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Lutherans, the Calvinists, select Jewish denominations, the Hungarian Unitarians, the Baptists and the Faith Church.

    Among those losing recognition were Hungary's Anglican, Methodist, Pentecostal, Adventist and reform Jewish congregations, the Salvation Army and Jehovah's Witnesses, and Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu groups.

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    Once again, a tyrannical governmental religious movement attacks the Borg for all the wrong reasons.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    The Anglican Church was the established church outside of a British colony. -very strange. The Methodists strike me as weird. I can't think of any problem with the Anglican or Methodist churches. They are mainstream and allow a diversity of doctrine and worship. This is an interesting story which we are not being told.

  • J. Hofer
    J. Hofer

    hungary is drifting back to the '40ies in a fast pace. nationalism is rising again in many european countries...

  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite

    Now all the dubs can work up a lather shouting that government has turned on religion.

  • NomadSoul

    JW's will say this is a sign that it's their true religion and the nearing of the end.

    And they will fail to see that they're not the only church that are being persecuted.

  • betterdaze

    Hungary's 348 other faiths and denominations were stripped of their legal status as religious organisations and lost their tax exempt status and entitlements to state subsidies.

    This is not entirely true. The religiou$ organization$ need to register to continue receiving government funding.

    There is no separation of church and state. THAT is the problem. They didn't go far enough, IMHO. If your God or Gods are so wonderful, won't He/She/It/They keep your personal brand of faith flourishing? Why should a Hungarian Catholic, for example, be forced to hand over their earnings to the Watchtower, or Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, etc.?

    That, to me, is true religious persecution: Coercing citizens (both believers and non-believers alike) to finance faiths and CULTures they cannot support in good conscience. Some of which, as we know, spread divisiveness and even call for their extermination.


    August 8th, 2011
    Parliament could consider applications for more churches in autumnBy MTI

    A further eight to ten religious organisations could apply for official church status during parliament’s autumn session, state secretary in charge of church issues Laszlo Szaszfalvi told MTI on Saturday.

    Szaszfalvi said that, so far, the Hungarian Anglican, Methodist, Pentecostal and Seventh-Day Adventist churches, as well as two Islamic congregations, the Buddhists and some other parties had indicated they wished to be officially registered as churches.

    Applications for church status are to be submitted to the Justice Ministry, which will pass them on to parliament for a decision, Szaszfalvi said. He promised that his secretariat would ensure “the least bureaucracy and the utmost speed” in the registration process.

    Szaszfalvi also said that the government would ensure that religious organisations that run social institutions or schools but that are not considered churches under Hungary’s new church law would continue to receive per capita funding from the central budget in 2011 and 2012. He added, however, that the details of the financing must still be settled.

    The new church law, passed by parliament on July 12, recognises 14 churches; other organisations will need approval by two-thirds of Parliament to be registered as a church or religious congregation.

    * * *

    August 15th, 2011
    Church bill was aimed at Scientology, portal reports
    By Hungary Around the Clock

    Excluding Scientology from the list of recognised churches was one of the key goals of amendments made by Fidesz to the church bill submitted by the Christian Democrats, news website Origo has reported.

    Sources who know the details of the decision but who asked that their name be withheld said Speaker László Kövér initiated the changes at a meeting of the Fidesz executive prior to the vote in Parliament expressly to ensure that Scientology would not be granted church status.

    The law, due to enter into force on January 1, recognises only 14 churches, but Parliament has the power to add other churches to that number.

  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    I will bet that when the news hits the WT magazine they won't mention the other 347 religions effected either...



  • steve2

    For once Hungary does something right - but doesn't go far enough. It's absolutely fantastic that three hundred religions are banned - but it's only a start. I read somewhere a while back that in the western world upwards of 3 to 4,000 are officially registered as religions. Come on Hungary - go the full hog and ban the lot of them. Then they can all commiserate with one another and do what persecuted peoples do best: Lick each others wounds.

  • Honesty

    Ban 'em all.

    Let God sort it out.

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