Secular Hungary

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Hungarian Lutherans

The weekly HVG has published an article on a research conducted among Hungarian Lutherans. The results were presented by Gergely Prőhle, who is not only a supervisor of the Lutheran church, but also the state secretary responsible for EU relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The research has been conducted among 1500 adults randomly selected from the church's registers containing a total of around 300 thousand persons (ca. 3% of the total population). According to the findings, 90% of these persons consider their religious affiliation important, and most of them do pay the "church tax", which is collected by the church itself, so it is reasonable to assume that the 300 thousand persons not just happen to be in some register because they were baptised, but who are there due to some affiliation.
Still, Mr Prőhle deplores the secularisation of church members,

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

The Sunday fights

As in other European countries and even at EU level, Christian churches are lobbying also in Hungary for a ban on working on Sundays. With a twist.
While banning Sunday work was put on the agenda by the Christian democrats (KDNP), the far right party Jobbik has picked up the issue and introduced yesterday a proposal to ban employers from requiring their employees to work on Sundays. With loopholes, of course.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Religious feeling triumphs

Over the freedom of speech, or course. The new law regulating the media is waiting for the approvel of the president, who will no doubt sign it without delay. Par. 17.2 goes as follows: "Media content may not lend itself to openly or implicitly offend the feelings of persons, nations, communities, national, ethnic, linguistic and other minorities or any majority, or of churches or religious groups, or to exclude them." ("A médiatartalom nem lehet alkalmas személyek, nemzetek, közösségek, nemzeti, etnikai, nyelvi és más kisebbségek vagy bármely többség, továbbá valamely egyház vagy vallási csoport nyílt vagy burkolt megsértésére, kirekesztésére." For the entire text:
I will not discuss the relationship between the freedom of speech and religious feelings -- Freedom House has done that, pointing out how these types of laws can easily be used to silence critics and get rid of anyone you want to. The freedom of religion is a segment of the freedom of conscience and of speech, and without the latter, the former is not possible.
Anyone reading the text carefully will note that the defense of religious feelings is not left to the faithful - not only persons', but also institutions' feelings are protected... (and churches do have the financial means to sue, of course)...