Hungarian Protestant Church Leaders Appeal for the Enlargement of the Group of Recognized Churches

Hungarian Protestant Church Leaders Appeal for the Enlargement of the Group of Recognized Churches

Leaders of the Reformed Church in Hungary and the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Hungary submitted a written appeal to János Lázár, Chairman of the Parliamentary Group of Fidesz regarding the Act on the Right to Freedom of Conscience and Religion, and the Legal Status of Churches, Religious Denominations and Religious Communities.

The Protestant leaders resolved to turn to János Lázár on Sunday, following his Friday announcement that the act adopted in July was about to be repealed. As is known, the act was annulled on Monday by the Constitutional Court on procedural grounds. János Lázár announced on Friday that the act would be adopted by Parliament once more by the end of this year.

The request of the Reformed and Lutheran leaders addressed to Mr Lázár – still relevant after the Monday decision of the Constitutional Court – is that the act to be newly adopted shall recognize “the church-status of the world religions and religious communities having provided proof of the value oriented nature of their teachings and serving the interests of their immediate or wider community.”

The church leaders reminded in their letter that already on 19 July, immediately after the adoption of the act, they submitted a written appeal to Tibor Navracsics, Minister of Public Administration and Justice for the enlargement of the group of churches recognized by the act.

In September, the Ecumenical Council of Churches in Hungary (ECCH), whose members include the Reformed and Lutheran churches, asked the government in a letter to recognize the church-status, even before the registration process, of further denominations and churches that “have contributed to the prosperity of our nation for decades or even centuries with their gospel activities, serving the Lord and the country in the Christian cooperation of the Ecumenical Council of Churches in Hungary, established in 1943.” In December, the leaders of the ECCH also turned to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, asking for the forms necessary for the church-status registration petitions to be made available to those concerned at the earliest convenience.

[Click here for a previous posting on this issue.]