Hungary’s recent law on religion, was a setback to religious equality. The official recognition process was suffocating, cumbersome, unnecessarily burdened the Hungary’s minority religions/denominations, smelled of favoritism, discriminatory against certain faith groups and was without any right to appeal. It was a step in the wrong and backwards direction, Zed added.
Zed further said that nations should not be in the business of regulating religion, which was very powerful and complex; and governments should not tell who was “church” and who was not. He urged His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and other world religious leaders to speak against this recent Hungarian law and back the minority religions/denominations of Hungary. Religions/denominations with a major presence in Hungary should also come to the rescue of religious minorities.
Meanwhile, Rabbi ElizaBeth Beyer, prominent Jewish leader in Nevada, in a statement today, stressed that Hinduism was one of the major religions of the world and the Hungarian Parliament was out of touch with the reality in not granting it recognition in upholding "The Right to Freedom of Conscience and Religion and on the Status of Churches, Religions and Religious Communities" Law. Rabbi Beyer stated that the Law created inferior religious status to faiths which had fewer followers in Hungary, violating the right to be free from religious discrimination. Beyer noted that the Law, which also stripped liberal Jewish congregations of their religious status, was flawed and archaic.
Jon Eric Johnson, a well known atheist scholar belonging to Reno Freethinkers, in a statement today, said: “We are dismayed and disappointed at the Hungarian government for engaging in the regulation and exclusionary approach in religion. A free and democratic society must allow people to worship, or not worship, as they so choose without restriction, harassment or favoritism.”
Distinguished Buddhist priest in Western USA, Jikai' Phil Bryan, in a statement today from Reno, in the US, urged Hungary to end discriminatory practices aimed at members of any and all authentic religious traditions and treat all religions as equal before the law and government. Bryan stressed the urgent need of ensuring religious equality and freedom in Hungary.
In a past survey, 44% Hungarians reportedly replied that they believed that there was a God. Roman Catholics were the largest group with about 52% Hungarians as followers. Majority of Hungary became Christian in the 11th century. Budapest synagogue is said to be the largest in Europe. Pal Schmitt and Viktor Orban are President and Prime Minister respectively of Republic of Hungary.
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