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The Freedom of Speech of Religious Communities and their Protection from Freedom of Speech in the Hungarian Legal System

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Abstract In keeping with the general European conception of freedom of speech, the Hungarian legal system achieves an appropriate balance between the interests vested in the protection of religious communities and the freedom of expression. In itself the injury, the feeling of hurt caused by criticism or even vilification of religion does not provide adequate grounds for the restriction of speech (an exception from this is the prohibition applicable to commercial communications published in the media). The new constitutional system has not changed this approach. The relevant passages of the new Churches Act are primarily declarative in nature. When examining these provisions which, at first sight, appear to give preference to churches over associations performing religious activities in a broader context, it becomes apparent that, in respect of the freedom of speech of religious communities as well as the protection of such communities from the freedom of speech, no distinction is made between these two types of organisation, the legal status of which are otherwise different.

Affiliations: 1: Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Faculty of Law and Political Sciences Budapest Hungary


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