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The Hungarian Act CCVI of 2011 on Freedom of Conscience and Religion and on the Legal Status of Churches, Religious Denominations and Religious Associations in Light of the Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights

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Abstract In 2011 Hungary replaced and completely reversed its formerly existing ‘liberal’ regulation of the registration of churches and church status by constituting a system built upon a highly dubious procedure and a set of stricter criteria. The aim of this article is to provide—after a brief summary of the process leading to the adoption of the present regulation—an assessment of the controversial, much debated Act CCVI of 2011 on freedom of conscience and religion and on the legal status of churches, religious denominations and religious associations in view of international human rights law standards as set by the ECHR and the jurisprudence of the ECtHR. The actual implementation and impact of the new Act will be demonstrated via the case of the Hungarian Evangelical Fellowship, a small, formerly registered free protestant church of Methodist denomination, which lost its church status after 30 years of lawful operation and still strives for recognition.

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Social Work, John Wesley Theological College Budapest Hungary Department of European Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Political and International Studies, Eötvös Loránd University of Sciences (ELTE) Budapest Hungary


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