The new Hungarian constitution, which protects life from the moment of conception and bans same-sex marriage, will also have an impact upon religious freedom.
Writing in The New York Times, Kim Lane Scheppele, director of the Program in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University, says that the new constitution, which took effect on January 1, discriminates against Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and several Protestant denominations, as well as against many Catholic religious orders.
What does the law on churches do? It creates 14 state-recognized religions, and decertifies the rest. On January 1, over 300 denominations lose their official status in Hungary--including their tax exemptions and their abilities to run state-funded schools.
While most of the denominations are tiny, many are not. Among the religions that will no longer be able to operate with state approval are all versions of Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Baha’i, as well as many smaller Catholic orders including the Benedictines, Marists, Carmelites and Opus Dei, and a number of major Protestant denominations including Episcopalians, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons, Methodists, and all but one of the evangelical churches. One each of the orthodox, conservative and liberal Jewish synagogues are recognized; but all other Jewish congregations are not.