Budapest, July 8 (MTI) – The Constitutional Court has ruled that certain provisions of the Hungarian church law and a related government decree are in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Lawmakers now have three months to remedy the law, the court said.
The court’s ruling was based on an earlier decision of the European Court of Human Rights relating to the church law.
In October of 2013, the Budapest Autonomous Congregation requested official recognition as a church. This was denied on the ground that the association had not verified that it complied with the requirements set out in the law.
Earlier the association had turned to the ECHR, which last April ruled that the Hungarian church law did not comply with the convention.
The Strasbourg court ruled that discrimination against certain religious organisations conflicts with the principle of neutrality outlined in the convention, which states that if the state grants support or tax preferences to religious organisations, it must do so with complete neutrality.
Hungarian church law prescribes that in order for a religious organisation to be granted church status, it must verify that it has existed as an association internationally for at least 100 years, or in Hungary for at least 20 years, and has at least 10,000 members.
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